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Authors: Voltattorni, N.* 
Caramanna, G.* 
Cinti, D.* 
Galli, G.* 
Pizzino, L.* 
Quattrocchi, F.* 
Title: Study of natural CO2 emissions in different italian geological scenarios
Other Titles: A refinement of natural hazard and risk assessment
Issue Date: 2006
ISBN: 1-4020-4470-4
Keywords: natural emission
carbon dioxide
soil gas
dissolved gas
flux measurement
Subject Classification05. General::05.08. Risk::05.08.01. Environmental risk 
Abstract: Natural gas emissions represent extremely attractive surrogates for the study of CO2 effects both on the environment and human life. Three Italian case histories demonstrate the possible co-existence of CO2 natural emissions and people since roman time. The Solfatara crater (Phlegraean fields caldera, Southern Italy) is an ancient roman spa. The area is characterized by intense and diffusive fumarolic and hydrothermal activity. Soil gas flux measurements show that the whole area discharges between 1200 and 1500 tons of CO2 a day. In proximity of Panarea island (Aeolian islands, Southern Italy), on November, 2002 a huge submarine volcanic-hydrothermal gas burst was advised. The submarine gas emissions locally modified seawater pH (from 8.0 to 5.0) and Eh (from +80 mV to -200 mV), causing strong modification in the marine ecosystem. Collected data suggest an intriguing correlation between the gas/water vent location/evolution and the main local and regional fault. CO2 degassing characterizes also the Telese area (Southern Italy), one of the most seismically active segments of the Southern Apennine belt with the occurrence of five large destructive earthquakes in the last 500 years. Geochemical surveys in this area, reveal the presence of high CO2 content in ground-water. Carbon isotopic analysis of CO2 revealed its deep origin probably caused by the presence of a cooling magmatic intrusion inside the carbonatic basement. All the above mentioned areas are constantly monitored since they are densely populated. Although natural phenomena are not always predictable, nevertheless local people learnt to manage and, in some case, to exploit these phenomena, suggesting a big human adaptability also in extreme situations.
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