Italian experts have been puzzled by the overnight appearance of what looks like a volcanic geyser erupting steam and gases 5 meters into the air.
What appears to be a new fumarole appeared near Rome’s International Fiumicino airport Saturday morning. A vent producing small geyser-like fountains of steam, water and mud was suddenly opened in the ground near a road crossing near Fiumicino.
Geologists are currently examining the phenomenon. It is still a bit unclear whether it is not a man-made accident caused by a broken pipe or similar (which might well be the case). As La Repubblica states, first inspections however indicate that it is in fact a new natural vent. Obviously, there are also already some speculations whether it could be related to volcanic activity.
The nearest possibly still active volcanic system in the area is the Monti Albani, an old but possibly not yet extinct volcanic complex located 20 km SE of the capital. Its last known activity there took place about 20,000 years ago. New volcanic activity in the suburban area of Rome itself is certainly not a completely impossible, but quite unlikely scenario. More data will be needed to shed light on this.
“From Mt. Etna in Sicily up to the Alban hills around Rome, there is a good deal of volcanic activity,” Alberto Basilli, a seismologist at the Italian National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology told The Daily Telegraph.
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