Rome doesn’t have to worry about this, as it will be another 1000 years before it erupts.
LOCATED about 30km from the centre of Rome, there’s a volcano rumbling to life.
As the volcanic complex of hills, known as Colli Albani, has no historical records of eruptions, it was long thought to be extinct.
However, a team of researchers from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Rome have discovered Colli Albani is alive and well — it just doesn’t erupt very often.
An analysis of rocks from the volcano revealed a history of past eruptions, which occur when Colli Albani enters an eruptive phase every 31,000 years or so.
Led by volcanologist Fabrizio Marra, researchers tracked the Colli Albani’s recent activity through satellite data and ground-based observations of earthquake swarms and steam vents.
What they discovered was in areas where steam vents are emerging, the ground underneath the volcano is inflating at two millimetres per year.
More so, the researchers found the area has risen by about 50m over the past 200,000 years, which suggests magma is entering fractures beneath the volcano.
According to researchers, magma was prevented from bubbling to the surface as the surrounding land held together a fracture under the volcano until about 2000 years ago.
However, recent stresses from a swarm of earthquakes around Rome — that lasted from 1991 to 1995 — have seen the land moving around the fracture.
This fact, combined with the volcano’s 31,000-year cycle, means Colli Albani is well overdue for an eruption.
Thankfully, Mr Marra said the volcano likely won’t build up enough pressure for an explosive eruption for at least 1000 years and will give plenty of notice before it blows.
“We expect for sure some initial stages which may not be so explosive, but it may evolve in time,” he toldExpress.
The findings have been published the journal Geophysical Research Letters.