Magma degassing as a trigger of bradyseismic events: The case of Phlegrean Fields (Italy)



[1] Phlegrean Fields is an active and densely populated caldera near Naples (Italy). Two major unrest episodes characterized its recent history, each leading to remarkable ground uplift and followed by slow subsidence. Fumaroles near the caldera centre underwent important chemical changes during these volcanic crises. Based on published data we show that a correlation exits between ground displacement and gas composition. Numerical modelling of hydrothermal circulation shows that periods of enhanced fluid injection at the base of the hydrothermal system, are consistent with the observed chemical variations. The model predicts an average increase in pore pressure and temperature within the system, suggesting potential effects on ground deformation. Literature data and simulation results show that periods of intense magmatic degassing could explain most of the features characterizing recent bradyseismic crises and should be considered a potential trigger for the unrest at Phlegrean Fields, as well as at other calderas in the world.