Clues on the origin of post-2000 earthquakes at Campi Flegrei caldera (Italy)

G. Chiodini, J. Selva, E. Del Pezzo, D. Marsan, L. De Siena, L. D'Auria, F. Bianco, S. Caliro, P. De Martino, P. Ricciolino, Z. Petrillo

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The inter-arrival times of the post 2000 seismicity at Campi Flegrei caldera are statistically distributed into different populations. The low inter-arrival times population represents swarm events, while the high inter-arrival times population marks background seismicity. Here, we show that the background seismicity is increasing at the same rate of (1) the ground uplift and (2) the concentration of the fumarolic gas specie more sensitive to temperature. The seismic temporal increase is strongly correlated with the results of recent simulations, modelling injection of magmatic fluids in the Campi Flegrei hydrothermal system. These concurrent variations point to a unique process of temperature-pressure increase of the hydrothermal system controlling geophysical and geochemical signals at the caldera. Our results thus show that the occurrence of background seismicity is an excellent parameter to monitor the current unrest of the caldera.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4472
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

We thank the INGV-OV staff involved in the management and maintenance of the seismic and GPS networks and Francesca Di Luccio for the data of the best located earthquakes. We acknowledge Valerio Acocella and an anonymous reviewer for the helpful comments that improved the clarity of the manuscript.This study has benefited from funding provided by INGV (project COHESO) by the Italian Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri Dipartimento della Protezione Civile (DPC), INGV-DPC Research Agreement 2012–2014, Progetto
V2 “Precursori di eruzioni”. This paper does not necessarily represent DPC official opinion and policies. EdP has been partly supported by Spanish Project Ephestos, CGL2011-29499-C02-01 and KNOWAVES, TEC2015-68752. We wish to acknowledge the former contribution of Lorenzo Casertano, Oliveri del Castillo and Maria Teresa Quagliariello, who, in an early paper published on Nature in 1976, first discussed the importance of fluids in the dynamics of Campi Flegrei Caldera.


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