Thursday, October 12, 2017

Italy: Geothermal Wells Help Scientists Determine Status of Super-Volcano

Will Italy’s Ominous Supervolcano Erupt Soon? (Scientific American)

The Phlegrean Fields offers an intriguing research opportunity because companies drilled almost a dozen geothermal wells there prior to the 1982 fright. No longer used, the wells now allow extensive monitoring, provide direct data about underground characteristics such as temperature and allow researchers to drill cores into the deep interior.

“Having cores is like having a view through a window to a landscape that has been long-covered,” says Tiziana Vanorio, director of Stanford University’s Rock Physics Laboratory. Techniques used in Phlegrean Fields are already being applied at other major volcanoes, including Mount Saint Helens in the U.S., Deception Island in Antarctica, Mount Teide in the Canary Islands and Mount Aso in Japan.

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