Caldera Drilling-Campi Flegrei MagellanPlus Workshop

Startdate: 25 February, 2017
Enddate: 28 February, 2017

Active calderas are major volcanic features of the Earth’s crust associated with large shallow magma reservoirs, high geothermal gradients, and geodynamic unrest often documented through historical time. Explosive caldera-forming eruptions are among the most catastrophic geologic events that may affect the surface of our planet within the interaction zone among lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. These eruptions often result in huge volumes of pyroclastic deposits accompanied by large collapse structures and late stage deformation and uplift of the intra-caldera floor region (Smith and Bailey, 1968; Henry and Price, 1984; Lipman, 1984, 1997; Komuro, 1987; Newhall and Dzurisin, 1988; Cole et al., 2005; Acocella, 2008; Kennedy et al., 2012; Sacchi et al., 2014; De Natale et al., 2016; Steinmann et al., 2016).

Campi Flegrei (i.e. “burning fields") is one of the most dangerous volcanoes on Earth. It is an active caldera located on the coastal zone of SW Italy, close to the city of Naples, that has been characterized by explosive activity and unrest throughout the late Quaternary. This region represents an active segment of the Eastern Tyrrhenian margin and may be regarded as an ideal natural laboratory to understand mechanisms of caldera dynamics and the interplay between explosive volcanism, tectonics and sedimentary processes at continental back-arc margins.
The Campi Flegrei area hosted the largest eruption that ever occurred in Europe in the last 200.000 years, namely the Campanian Ignimbrite (39,000 years BP), VEI 6-7 with about 300 km3 of erupted volume (Rosi and Sbrana, 1987; De Vivo et al., 2001; Fitzsimmons et al., 2013). More recently, about 15,000 years BP, another large eruption occurred, the Neapolitan Yellow Tuff, which emitted 40 km3 of pyroclastic products, forming the present caldera (Scarpati et al., 1993; Deino et al., 2004; De Natale et al., 2016).

During the Magellan Plus workshop held in Naples on 25-28 February, 2017, 35 participants from 4 European countries, USA, and Japan, gathered to discuss the key scientific issues for a coordinated IODP-ICDP proposal dedicated to the drilling of the Campi Flegrei Caldera. The workshop built upon previous research and networking activities conducted by the proponents that included:

  1. Coordinated ICDP Workshop and ESF Magellan Workshop held on 13-15 November 2006 in Naples;
  2. Submission and approval of a ICDP full proposal (Campi Flegrei Deep Drilling Project) in 2006-2008;
  3. Submission of IODP pre-proposal# 671 in 2006-2007 with indication of re-submission on the basis of an implemented site survey package;
  4. Realization of 2 pilot holes (namely 500 m and 200 m deep) as a preliminary phase to the ICDP deep drilling;
  5. Acquisition of new offshore site survey data (multiscale reflection seismics, multibeam bathymetry and gravity core data) between 2008 and 2016.

Researchers participating in the Magellan Plus workshop represented a wide range of disciplines related to the field of volcanology, geology, geophysics, geomorphology, petrology, geochemistry, geochronology, numerical and analogue modelling. The initiative was intended to bring together experts, young researchers and other representatives from the academia and industry involved in both marine and continental research drilling. The aim of the workshop was to strengthen a large community dedicated to develop new ideas for the understanding of a): caldera-forming volcanism and unrest off continental margins; b) the dynamics of shallow water hydrothermal systems, and c) the seafloor morphological and structural changes induced by frequent uplift/subsidence phases and active degassing processes.
Participants were asked to contribute to scientific debate on volcanism and associated hazards over coastal areas and identify problems that can be addressed by coordinated marine and continental drilling, with reference to the Campi Flegrei Caldera, as a case history. The workshop programme addressed data integration, and the building of a scientific rationale for drilling strategies and scientific partnering through a multidisciplinary approach, by linking geology, geophysics and geotechnology. The event has been among the first efforts to assess scientific themes directly related to volcanic hazard in highly populated coastal areas within the context of fully integrated ICDP-IODP drilling research.
The outcomes of the workshop provided a conceptual frame to support the preparation of a full-proposal for the Drilling of the Campi Flegrei Calera to be jointly submitted to IODP and ICDP Programmes according to the IODP Guidelines for joint review of “Amphibious Drilling Proposals” (ADPs). The Campi Flegrei ADP shall address complementary research topics, into a general view based on the analysis of collapse – resurgent calderas that develop over continental margins. Coastal offshore settings in fact provide a unique opportunity to reconstruct the chronostratigraphy and kinematic evolution of individual structures and components and understand the interaction between magmatic and hydrothermal processes that characterizes the hinge zone between marine and continental areas.

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De Natale, G., C. Troise, D. Mark, A. Mormone, M. Piochi, M. A. Di Vito, R. Isaia, S. Carlino, D. Barra and R. Somma (2016). "The Campi Flegrei Deep Drilling Project (CFDDP): New insight on caldera structure, evolution and hazard implications for the Naples area (Southern Italy)." Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 17(12): 4836-4847.
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Related Publications

Sacchi, M., De Natale, G., Spiess, V., Steinmann, L., Acocella, V., Corradino, M., de Silva, S., Fedele, A., Fedele, L., Geshi, N., Kilburn, C., Insinga, D., Jurado, M. J., Molisso, F., Petrosino, P., Passaro, S., Pepe, F., Porfido, S., Scarpati, C., Schmincke, H. U., Somma, R., Sumita, M., Tamburrino, S., Troise, C., Vallefuoco, M., Ventura, G. (2019). "A roadmap for amphibious drilling at the Campi Flegrei caldera: insights from a MagellanPlus workshop" Sci. Dril. 26 p29-46

Spiess, Volkhard, Sacchi, Marco, de Natale, Giuseppe, Steinmann, Lena (2017). "Structure and Evolution of Magmatic and Hydrothermal Volcanic Systems in offshore collapse/resurgent calderas: Development of an IODP Drilling Proposal at Campi Flegrei linking to active ICDP Drilling Initiatives" MagellanPlus Workshop report