The Albano Maar Lake (Colli Albani Volcano, Italy)- Recent Volcanic Activity And Evidence Of Pre-Roman Age Catastrophic Lahar Events

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Journal Article: The Albano Maar Lake (Colli Albani Volcano, Italy)- Recent Volcanic Activity And Evidence Of Pre-Roman Age Catastrophic Lahar Events

Abstract
The evaluation of volcanic hazard in the Roman hinterland related to the quiescent Colli Albani Volcano has recently been the subject of renewed attention and several interpretations by many authors. However, very little was known of the recent history of the volcano, making such interpretations rather speculative. The most recent activity of Colli Albani Volcano originated from the Albano polygenetic maar lake, which erupted several phreatomagmatic units, the most recent of which, the Peperino Albano ignimbrite, has been dated at around 25 ka. An area of several square kilometers centered around Albano Lake is presently the site of shallow and frequent seismic activity and gaseous emission as well as hydrothermal activity and is therefore considered the most prone to geologic hazards. This paper presents new stratigraphic and geomorphologic data as well as age determinations that allow rejuvenation of the most recent activity of the Colli Albani Volcano, and particularly the Albano maar lake, to the Holocene. This study allows for the first time to identify a potential hazard related to the Albano maar lake withdrawal interpreted to be related to endogenous causes, namely CO2 emission. The main results of the study are: (1) the Peperino Albano is not, as is generally believed, the last phreatomagmatic eruption from the Colli Albani Volcano; a previously unrecognized phreatomagmatic surge deposit has been identified overlying the paleosol at the top of the Peperino Albano and related lahar deposits; (2) two lahar deposits separated by paleosols top the stratigraphic succession and are dispersed only to the NW, corresponding to the lowest point of the maar rim, indicating that catastrophic hydrologic events occurred at the Albano Lake in recent times; rapid and substantial lake-level variations and lake withdrawal are reported by Roman historians and recorded by the stratigraphy of the Albano Lake lacustrine sediments; (3) microfracturing related to seismic energy release is linked to sudden variation of CO2 flow and upwelling of hydrothermal fluids. These occurrences across the lake are the likely causes that triggered during Holocene several episodes of lake withdrawal, rising the water table and probably triggering convective rollover of the lake water.

Authors 
R. Funiciello, G. Giordano and D. De Rita








Published Journal 
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 2003





DOI 
Not Provided
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Citation

R. Funiciello,G. Giordano,D. De Rita. 2003. The Albano Maar Lake (Colli Albani Volcano, Italy)- Recent Volcanic Activity And Evidence Of Pre-Roman Age Catastrophic Lahar Events. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. (!) .