Vulcano volcano alert level raised to yellow, last eruption occurred in 1890, Italy

Vulcano is a group of volcanic sites located on the island of Vulcano, … La Fossa tuff cone, which has now reached a height of 391 m.

Significant changes in various monitored parameters at Vulcano volcano in Italy over the past few weeks have prompted the country’s Department of Civil Defense to raise the volcano’s alert level to yellow Oct. 1, 2021. This volcano last erupted in 1890.

During the summer of 2021, especially since September, the monitoring systems of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) noted changes in the geophysical and geochemical signals recorded at Vulcan, in particular those related to the activity of the hydrothermal system feeding the fumaroles of Fossa Crater.

The temperature of the gases emitted by the fumaroles at the crater rim has increased, and the composition of the gases shows an increase in CO2 and SO2 (carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide).

Local microseismicity associated with the dynamics of the fumarole system has also shown an increase in recent weeks.

INGV is currently strengthening its existing monitoring and surveillance networks to better monitor the situation.

In recent days, they have installed new seismic stations to integrate with existing ones on the island, and are also preparing to install a heat chamber.

In addition, the INGV Palermo branch has launched 4 new stations in the town of Vulcano Porto to measure the CO2 flux from the ground and the CO2 concentration in the air.

Further research and measurement campaigns are planned in the next few weeks.

In particular, the annual GPS-measurement campaign between Vulcano and Lipari islands will be carried out in mid-October, with special detail in the La Fossa cone area, which will allow a better assessment of the dynamics taking place.

Based on the changes described above, the Department of Civil Defense raised the alert level for the volcano from “green” to “yellow” on October 1.2

“Vulcano Island is already a widespread risk situation for the population mainly because of the gas-rich fumaroles and high temperatures, but at this stage we must remember that they may intensify and spread to larger areas, and therefore the danger will be higher,” the department said in a statement.

Volcanic activity at the volcano has been concentrated in the La Fossa cone in recent centuries, with the last eruption occurring between Aug. 3, 1888, and March 22, 1890 (volcanic explosivity index 3).

Since the last eruption, La Fossa has gone through periods of varying intensity of degassing, from weak to strong, and has returned to emitting large amounts of gas since 1977.

This gas activity comes from a medium-temperature fumarolic field (100 °C / 212 °F

Low-temperature hydrothermal manifestations (100 °C / 212 °F) are present in the Farallone and Baia di Levante area.

From 1916 to 1927 and from 1988 to 1995, two notable increases in fumarole gas temperature were observed, to 623 °C (1,153 °F) and 700 °C (1,292 °F), respectively. During the last crisis, monitoring systems also recorded seismic activity and deformation.

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