A volcano called Colli Albani located outside Rome, which was previously thought extinct, is coming back to life, according to researchers from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology. However, don’t be frightened. They assert that it won’t erupt in another 1,000 years.

The research team explains that Colli Albani is a volcanic complex of hills located about 30 kilometers away from the center of Rome. Researchers assumed that it is dead because they have not found any records of its eruption in history.

However, recent analyses indicate that scientists were wrong after all.   In their study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the team says that Colli Albani actually erupted before but its eruptions do not occur often. They only occur every 31,000 years.


Colli Albani. Credit: Wikimedia/Deblu68

The  research team realized that the volcano last erupted 36,000 years ago but it won’t erupt again soon. Still,  if Colli Albani erupts, the team warns that it will be as devastating as Mt. Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed Pompeii in 79 AD.

Fabrizio Marra, a volcanologist from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Rome, led a team that studied Colli Albani’s recent activity through satellite data and ground-based observations of earthquake swarms and steam vents. They found that the ground beneath Colli Albani  is actually expanding up to 0.08 inches or two millimeters every year.

It turns out that the area elevated up to 50 meters or 164 feet over the past 200,000 years. Apparently, this proves that magma is entering the fractures beneath the volcano.

The researchers also cite other indications that the volcano is rumbling back to life.  One sign occurred between 1991 and 1995 when a series of earthquakes hit Rome. The team adds that a steam vent that appeared close to the Fiumicino airport in Rome in 2013 also demonstrated that the previously believed to be dead volcano is long due for an eruption.