, Volume 73, Issue 6, pp 655-677
Date: 14 Dec 2010

The Campi Flegrei caldera: historical revision and new data on seismic crises, bradyseisms, the Monte Nuovo eruption and ensuing earthquakes (twelfth century 1582 ad)

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a systematic historical study of the seismic, bradyseismic and eruptive activity of the Campi Flegrei caldera. The aim is to make a revised historical data available for accurate volcanological interpretation, supplying additional data and highlighting spurious previous data. The analysis begins with the supposed 1198 eruption, which did not actually take place. No information is available for the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. As far as the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries are concerned, only direct sources were examined for this paper, and they include many different types of evidence. The chronological breadth of the analysis has also provided information about the seismic crises and bradyseisms prior to the eruption of 1538. The exceptional nature of this 1538 eruption attracted the attention of intellectuals, diplomats and natural philosophers, who left valuable accounts, which we have analysed, and which include many that are still available in their original manuscript form. The previous studies concerning the 1538 eruption were based on 23 (variously used) sources. We have examined 35 additional sources bringing the overall corpus of sources analysed to 58. The results provide a more precise scenario of events preceding the 1538 eruption, including bradyseismic activity starting from the end of the fifteenth century. The chronology of the phenomena described comprises the core result of this study, and has been constructed so as to clarify the time, location and impact of each event. For the 1538 eruption, a countdown is included which may also have a predictive value. For the last 36 hours before eruption began, the countdown is hour-by-hour. The effects of the eruption and earthquakes on people, structures and society are also described for Pozzuoli, Agnano and Naples. The areas where heavy materials and ash fell are likewise indicated, as well are the earth tremors felt by the population from the eruptive crisis up to 1582.

Editorial responsibility: R. Cioni