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Authors: Chiodini, G.* 
Caliro, S.* 
Cardellini, C.* 
Granieri, D.* 
Avino, R.* 
Baldini, A.* 
Donnini, M.* 
Minopoli, C.* 
Title: Long term variations of the Campi Flegrei (Italy) volcanic system as revealed by the monitoring of hydrothermal activity
Issue Date: 2010
Series/Report no.: /115(2010)
DOI: 10.1029/2008JB006258
Keywords: Campi Flegrei
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.06. Hydrothermal systems 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.12. Fluid Geochemistry 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.01. Gases 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.08. Volcanic risk 
Abstract: Long duration time-series of the chemical composition of fumaroles and of soil CO2 flux reveal that important variations in the activity of the Solfatara fumarolic field, the most important hydrothermal site of Campi Flegrei, occurred in the 2000-2008 period. A continuous increase of the CO2 concentrations, and a general decrease of the CH4 concentrations are interpreted as the consequence of the increment of the relative amount of magmatic fluids, rich in CO2 and poor in CH4, hosted by the hydrothermal system. Contemporaneously, the H2O-CO2-He-N2 gas system shows remarkable compositional variations in the samples collected after July 2000 with respect to the previous ones, indicating the progressive arrival at the surface of a magmatic component different from that involved in the 1983-84 episode of volcanic unrest (1983-1984 bradyseism). The change starts in 2000 concurrently with the occurrence of relatively deep, long-period seismic events which were the indicator of the opening of an easy-ascent pathway for the transfer of magmatic fluids towards the shallower, brittle domain hosting the hydrothermal system. Since 2000, this magmatic gas source is active and causes ground deformations, seismicity as well as the expansion of the area affected by soil degassing of deeply derived CO2. Even though the activity will most probably be limited to the expulsion of large amounts of gases and thermal energy, as observed in other volcanoes and in the past activity of Campi Flegrei, the behavior of the system in the future is, at the moment, unpredictable.
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