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Field trip organisers:
Field trip secretariat:
Figure 1. ASTER image of the Vesuvius and Phlegrean Fields area
high resolution image (3.5 Mb)
ASTER image processing by A.P. Rossi
The Vesuvius is famous for its eruptive history characterized by tremendous explosive eruptions well documented since the roman age. The Vesuvius is a strato-volcano formed by lavas of different chemical composition (i.e. trachyte, tephrite, leucite) and pyroclastic deposits (Figure 2).
Figure 2. A) Aerial view of the Vesuvius-Somma volcanic system. (from Scandone and Giacomelli)
B) Pyroclastic surges during the last eruption of Vesuvius in 1944 (from Pesce and Rolandi, 1994).
During the field trip we will also visit the hydrothermal system of the Solfatara Crater (Figure 3) that is one of the active sites of Phlegrean Fields (Campi Flegrei).
Figure 3. The Phlegrean volcanic fields. (picture from Scandone and Giacomelli)
The Phegraean Fields consist of a series of quaternary volcanic cones which lie within a large circular depression, an older caldera more likely. The volcanic complex has been active since at least 47000 yrs bp, and it is surrounded by three quaternary volcanic centers:
Figure 4. A mud pool (A) and sulfuric emissions (B) in Solfatara Crater. (Images M. Glamoclija)
Solfatara crater is made up of a sequence of pyroclastic deposits: at the base is a phreato-magmatic breccia overlain by pyroclastic-flow deposits, mostly altered by fumarolic activity. Acidic, hot environment of mud pools and fumaroles (Figure 4) is an exceptional example of extreme terrestrial environment habited by chemosynthetic microbial communities (see also the web page http://irsps.sci.unich.it/research/projects/astrobiology/basi_solfa/basi_solfa.html).
The Phlegrean area is subject to bradisism that is the slow rising and falling of the surface as magma flows underground from one caldera to another. Sea levels changes are recorded on the columns of the roman market (Serapeo) in Pozzuoli and we plan to visit it (Figure 5).
Figure 5. A) Picture of the Serapeo and B) close up of the column altered by lithophagi
during sea level highstands. (pictures from www.ulyxes.it)
A geological-oriented tour of Pompeii archeological site (Figure 6) is planned as well. The town has been destroyed by the explosive eruption of 79 A.D. associated with pyroclastic surge, ash and lapilli falls. During this eruption, Pompeii has been covered by about 4 meters of pumice lapilli.
Figure 6. Aerial view of the Pompeii archeological site.
The excursions will be performed on Friday September 24 and Saturday September 25. The field trip is easy and does not involve long walks. You will have to wear a warm jacket because it may be windy and cold at the Vesuvius summit (about 1000 meters altitude).
A farewell dinner at the restaurant La Bersagliera (http://www.labersagliera.it) in Naples will take place on Saturday September 25. The restaurant is located in the historical fishingarea of Santa Lucia.
A bus service to the Capodichino (Naples) airport and Fiumicino (Rome) airport will be organized on Sunday September 26 without extra charge. We plan to leave the hotel at 8:00 am and reach the Capodichino airport at 9:00 am and Fiumicino airport at 12:30 pm.
Figure 7. Road map of the field trip locations.