Solfatara (volcano)

This article is about a particular volcano named 'Solfatara'; for the phenomenon of solfatare in general, see the common name fumarole.

Sulfur at the Solfatara crater
Highest point
Elevation 458 m (1,503 ft)[1]
Coordinates 40°49′37″N 14°08′20″E / 40.827°N 14.139°E / 40.827; 14.139Coordinates: 40°49′37″N 14°08′20″E / 40.827°N 14.139°E / 40.827; 14.139
Location Italy
Age of rock 40,000 years
Mountain type Crater of Campi Flegrei
Volcanic arc/belt Campanian volcanic arc
Last eruption 1198[1]

Solfatara is a shallow volcanic crater at Pozzuoli, near Naples, part of the Campi Flegrei volcanic area. It is a dormant volcano, which still emits jets of steam with sulfurous fumes. The name comes from the Latin, Sulpha terra, "land of sulfur", or "sulfur earth". It was formed around 4000 years ago and last erupted in 1198 with what was probably a phreatic eruption - an explosive steam-driven eruption caused when groundwater interacts with magma. The crater floor is a popular tourist attraction, as it has many fumaroles and mud pools. The area is well known for its bradyseism. The vapours have been used for medical purposes since Roman times.

This volcano is where the thermoacidophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus was first isolated. The archaeon is named for the volcano, as most species of the genus Sulfolobus are named for the area where they are first isolated.

In 305, this is the location where the patron of Pozzuoli, Saint Proculus, and the patron of Naples, Saint Januarius were beheaded.


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