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Seismic reflections reveal a massive melt layer feeding Campi Flegrei caldera

Abstract : Campi Flegrei is an active, resurgent caldera that is located a few kilometres west of the city of Naples, a densely populated urban settlement in southern Italy. Identifying, locating at depth and better defining the geometry of the magma feeding system of the caldera is highly relevant for assessing and monitoring its volcanic hazard. Based on a high resolution seismic reflection data set, we investigated the deep structure of the volcano. Here we show that seismic wave amplitude variations with distance from the radiating source provide clear evidence for large amplitude seismic reflections from the top of an extended supercritical fluid-bearing rock formation at about 3,000 m and of an about 7,500 m deep, 1,000 m thick, low velocity layer, which is associated with a mid-crust, partial melting zone beneath the caldera. The modeling of magma properties based on measured seismic velocities indicates a relatively high melt percentage (in the range 80–90%). These new data suggest that a large magmatic sill is present well within the basement formations, which is possibly linked to the surface through a system of deep fractures bordering the caldera. The lateral extension and similar depth of the melt zone observed beneath the nearby Mt.Vesuvius support the hypothesis of a single continuous magma reservoir feeding both of these volcanoes.
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Aldo Zollo, Nils Maercklin, Maurizio Vassallo, Dario Dello Iacono, J. Virieux, et al.. Seismic reflections reveal a massive melt layer feeding Campi Flegrei caldera. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2008, 35, pp.L12306. ⟨10.1029/2008GL034242⟩. ⟨insu-00354731⟩



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