Alban Hills

Alban Hills
Colli Albani

Monte Cavo (the Alban Mount) and Alban Lake
Highest point
Elevation 950 m (3,120 ft)
Prominence Monte Cavo
Coordinates 41°43′48″N 12°42′00″E / 41.73000°N 12.70000°E / 41.73000; 12.70000Coordinates: 41°43′48″N 12°42′00″E / 41.73000°N 12.70000°E / 41.73000; 12.70000
Alban Hills

East of Rome, Italy

Mountain type Stratovolcano
Last eruption 5,000 BC

The Alban Hills (Italian Colli Albani) are the site of a quiescent volcanic complex in Italy, located 20 km (12 mi) southeast of Rome and about 24 kilometres (15 mi) north of Anzio.

The dominant peak (but not the highest) is Monte Cavo at 950 m. There are two small calderas which contain lakes, Lago Albano and Lake Nemi. The rock of the hills is called peperino (lapis albanus) a variety of tuff, a combination of volcanic ash and small rocks that is useful for construction, and provides a mineral-rich substrate for vineyards.


The area was inhabited by the Latini during the 5th to 3rd centuries BC. The ancient Romans called them Albanus Mons. On the summit was the sanctuary of Jupiter Latiaris, in which the consuls celebrated the Feriae Latinae, and several generals celebrated victories here when they were not accorded regular triumphs in Rome. The temple has not survived, but the Via Triumphalis leading up to it may still be seen.

The hills, especially around the shores of the lakes, have been popular since prehistoric times. From the 9th to 7th century BC, there were numerous villages (see the legendary Alba Longa and Tusculum). In Roman times, these villages were inhabited as a way to escape the heat and crowds of Rome, and there are many villas and country houses.

The Alban Hills.

Towns and cities

Main article: Castelli Romani

The towns and villages in the Alban Hills are known as the Castelli Romani.

Volcanic activity

Examination of deposits have dated the four most recent eruptions to two temporal peaks, around 36,000 and 39,000 years ago.[1][2] The area exhibits small localised earthquake swarms, bradyseism, and release of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide into the atmosphere. The uplift and earthquake swarms have been interpreted as caused by a slowly growing spherical magma chamber 5-6 kilometres below the surface;[3] some think that it may erupt again; if so, there is risk to Rome, which is only 25 to 30 km away.[4][5]

There is documentary evidence of an eruption in 114 BC, but the absence of holocene geological deposits has largely discredited it as a volcanic event and instead the account is considered to be a description of a forest fire.[3]

The volcano emits large amounts of carbon dioxide[6] which can potentially reach lethal concentrations if it accumulates in depressions in the ground in the absence of wind. The asphyxiation of 29 cows in September 1999 prompted a detailed survey, which found that concentration of the gas at 1.5 m above the ground in a residential area on the northwestern flank sometimes exceeded the occupational health threshold of 0.5%.[7] Eight sheep were killed in a similar incident in October 2001.[8]

Volcanic lakes view from Monte Cavo.


Louis Gurlitt, Alban Hills (1850)

Writers and artists who have produced work about this area include:

See also


  1. Freda, Carmela; et al. (2006). "Eruptive history and petrologic evolution of the Albano multiple maar (Alban Hills, Central Italy)" (PDF). Bulletin of Volcanology. 68: 567591. doi:10.1007/s00445-005-0033-6.
  2. Cecconi, Manuela; Scarapazzi, Maurizio; Viggiani, Giulia M. B. (2010). "On the geology and the geotechnical properties of pyroclastic flow deposits of the Colli Albani". Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment. 69 (2): 185206. doi:10.1007/s10064-009-0250-x.
  3. 1 2 Behncke, Boris (2003). "Italy's Volcanoes: The Cradle of Volcanology". Archived from the original on 13 February 2006.
  4. Feuillet, N.; Nostro, C.; Chiarabba, C.; Cocco, M. (2004). "Coupling between earthquake swarms and volcanic unrest at the Alban Hills Volcano (central Italy) modeled through elastic stress transfer". Journal of Geophysical Research. 119 (B2): B02308.1–B02308.16. doi:10.1029/2003JB002419.
  5. Carapezza, M. L.; Barberi, F.; Tarchini, L.; Ranaldi, M.; Ricci, T. (2010). "Volcanic hazards of the Colli Albani". In Funiciello, R.; Giordano, G. The Colli Albani Volcano (PDF). Special Publications of IAVCEI #3. London: Geological Society. pp. 279297.
  6. Pizzino, L.; Galli, G; Mancini, C.; Quattrocchi, F.; Scarlato, P. (2002). "Natural Gas Hazard (CO2, 222Rn) within a Quiescent Volcanic Region and Its Relations with Seismotectonics: The Case of the Ciampino-Marino Area (Alban Hills Volcano, Italy)" (PDF). Natural Hazards. 27 (3): 257287.
  7. 5000 parts per million which is .5%. "Occupational Health Guideline for Carbon Dioxide" (PDF). National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, United States Center for Disease Control. 1975. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 June 2009.
  8. Benson, Sally; Cook, Peter; et al. (2005). "Chapter 5: Underground geological storage". In Arbanades, Juan Carlos. IPCC Special Report on Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage (PDF). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. pp. 195276, page 249. ISBN 978-0-521-86643-9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 June 2006. citing Carapezza, M. L.; Badalamenti, B.; Cavarra, L.; Scalzo, A. (2003). "Gas hazard assessment in a densely inhabited area of Colli Albani Volcano (Cava dei Selci, Roma)". Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 123 (1/2): 81–94. doi:10.1016/S0377-0273(03)00029-5.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alban Hills.

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/31/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.