EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

New constraints on Middle-Late Pleistocene large-magnitude eruptions from Campi Flegrei 

Giada Fernandez1, Biagio Giaccio2, Antonio Costa3, Lorenzo Monaco2,4, Paul Albert5, Sebastien Nomade6, Alison Pereira7, Niklas Leicher8, Federico Lucchi9, Paola Petrosino10, Alfonsa Milia11, Donatella Insinga11, Sabine Wulf12, Rebecca Kearney13, Daniel Veres14, Diana Jordanova15, and Gianluca Sottili1
Giada Fernandez et al.
  • 1Department of Earth Sciences, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Rome, Italy (
  • 2Istituto di Geologia Ambientale e Geoingegneria, CNR, Rome, Italy
  • 3Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  • 4Department of Earth Sciences, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
  • 5Department of Geography, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK
  • 6Laboratoire de Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, CEA, UMR 8212, UVSQ, IPSL and Université de Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 7Université Paris-Saclay, UMR 8148, Laboratoire GEOPS, Orsay, France
  • 8Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  • 9Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali, Università di Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy
  • 10Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell’Ambiente e delle Risorse, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
  • 11CNR-ISMAR, Istituto di Scienze Marine, Calata Porta di Massa, Interno Porto di Napoli 80, 80133 Napoli, Italy
  • 12School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences, University of Portsmouth, Buckingham Building, Lion Terrace, Portsmouth, PO1 3HE, United Kingdom
  • 13Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, School of Archaeology, University of Oxford
  • 14Institute of Speleology, Romanian Academy, Clinicilor 5, 400006 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • 15National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. G. Bonchev, bl.3, 1113, Sofia, Bulgaria

Assessing the history, dynamics and magnitude of pre-historic explosive volcanic eruptions relies heavily on the completeness of the stratigraphic records, the spatial distribution, and the sedimentological features of the pyroclastic deposits. Near-vent volcanic successions provide fundamental but often patchy information, both in terms of record completeness (e.g., scarce accessibility to the older deposits) and of the spatial variability of the sedimentological features. Hence, medial to distal sections increasingly represent essential integrative records.

Campi Flegrei (CF) is among the most productive volcanoes of the Mediterranean area, with a volcanic history comprised of well-known caldera-forming eruptions (e.g., Campanian Ignimbrite, CI, ~40 ka; Neapolitan Yellow Tuff, NYT, ~14 ka). Furthermore, recent studies correlated a well-known widespread distal ash layer, the so-called Y-3, with a poorly exposed proximal CF pyroclastic unit (Masseria del Monte Tuff, 29ka), allowing a re-assessment of the magnitude of this eruption, now recognized as a third large-magnitude (VEI 6) eruption at CF. The discovery of this large eruption reduces drastically the recurrence intervals of large-magnitude events at CF and has major implications for volcanic hazard assessment.

While the most powerful Late Pleistocene (e.g., post-NYT and partially post-CI) eruptions at CF have been the subject of extensive investigations, less is known about its earliest activity. Motivated by this knowledge gap, we have reviewed the research on Middle-Late Pleistocene eruptions from the CF (~160-90 ka) in light of new compositional (EMPA + LA-ICP-MS), grain-size distribution (dry/wet sieving and laser) and morphoscopy (SEM) data of tephra layers from proximal and distal settings, including inland and offshore records. Our study provides a long-term overview and cornerstone that will help provide future eruptive scenarios, essential for the quantification of recurrence times of explosive activity and in volcanic hazard assessment in the Neapolitan area. This overview sets the basis for modelling dispersion as well as eruptive dynamics parameters of pre-CI large-magnitude eruptions, needed to better understand the behavior of the CF caldera with a long-term perspective.

How to cite: Fernandez, G., Giaccio, B., Costa, A., Monaco, L., Albert, P., Nomade, S., Pereira, A., Leicher, N., Lucchi, F., Petrosino, P., Milia, A., Insinga, D., Wulf, S., Kearney, R., Veres, D., Jordanova, D., and Sottili, G.: New constraints on Middle-Late Pleistocene large-magnitude eruptions from Campi Flegrei , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-6552,, 2023.