Undersea volcano threatens southern Italy: report

March 29, 2010
View of lava spewing out of the Stromboli volcano in Sicily, Italy. A vulcanologist has warned that the Marsili volcano -- Europe's largest undersea volcano -- could disintegrate and unleash a tsunami that would engulf southern Italy "at any time".

Europe's largest undersea volcano could disintegrate and unleash a tsunami that would engulf southern Italy "at any time", a prominent vulcanologist warned in an interview published Monday.

The Marsili volcano, which is bursting with magma, has "fragile walls" that could collapse, Enzo Boschi told the leading daily Corriere della Sera.

"It could even happen tomorrow," said Boschi, president of the National Institute of Geophysics and (INGV).

"Our latest research shows that the volcano is not structurally solid, its walls are fragile, the magma chamber is of sizeable dimensions," he said. "All that tells us that the volcano is active and could begin erupting at any time."

The event would result in "a strong that could strike the coasts of Campania, Calabria and Sicily," Boschi said.

The undersea Marsili, 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) tall and located some 150 kilometres (90 miles) southwest of Naples, has not erupted since the start of recorded history.

It is 70 kilometres long and 30 kilometres wide, and its crater is some 450 metres below the surface of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

"A rupture of the walls would let loose millions of cubic metres of material capable of generating a very powerful wave," Boschi said.

"While the indications that have been collected are precise, it is impossible to make predictions. The risk is real but hard to evaluate."

Explore further: Alaskan volcano is active and oozing magma

Related Stories

Giant 8,000-year-old tsunami is studied

November 28, 2006

Italian scientists say geological evidence suggests a giant tsunami resulted from the collapse of the eastern flanks of Mount Etna nearly 8,000 years ago.

Major Pacific earthquake prompts tsunami warning

March 20, 2009

A major 7.9-magnitude earthquake has shaken the South Pacific nation of Tonga and sending people in low lying areas of Fiji fleeing for higher ground after a tsunami warning, according to officials.

Recommended for you

A cataclysmic event of a certain age

July 27, 2015

At the end of the Pleistocene period, approximately 12,800 years ago—give or take a few centuries—a cosmic impact triggered an abrupt cooling episode that earth scientists refer to as the Younger Dryas.

'Carbon sink' detected underneath world's deserts

July 28, 2015

The world's deserts may be storing some of the climate-changing carbon dioxide emitted by human activities, a new study suggests. Massive aquifers underneath deserts could hold more carbon than all the plants on land, according ...

5 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jerryd
3 / 5 (1) Mar 29, 2010
that's a little limited thought as it would do about as much damage to many other med countries
fixer
2 / 5 (1) Mar 29, 2010
It won't do anyone any good, thats for sure!
It seems vulcanology is on the rise around the world.
Truth
4.5 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2010
It won't do anyone any good, thats for sure!
It seems vulcanology is on the rise around the world.

In comparison to earlier epochs in Earth's history, today's vulcanic activity is miniscule. But because of our heightened awareness of such phenomena, due to our technology, it appears to some people to be "unusual". Same goes for earthquakes, climate change, etc. Truly, in view of Earth's past, our present time is about as calm as it can get.
CaptRam
3 / 5 (1) Mar 30, 2010
Gezzzz Im sailing over this area all the time, now I it will go thru my mind everytime im in the area thanks!
sailing-charters dot non profit
tempodulu
not rated yet Apr 06, 2010
The power of volcanoes is incredible and could well be responsible for a devastating event that could easily wipe out mankind. It's not if that will happen but when:
http://al-terity....ian.html

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.