From: The Electronic Telegraph Friday 23 June 1995 World News
According to Italy's National Institute of Geophysics, the famed Alban Hills near Frascati, nine miles south-east of Rome, has started "rising like a sponge cake".
The area, which is rich with vines, classical landscapes and old villas and palaces, including the Pope's summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, has risen by 18 inches this century.
But one foot of this growth has been confined to the last 15 years alone.
Importantly for the institute, the 1980-95 period has coincided with the most intense seismic activity ever recorded in the area.
Along with hundreds of minor tremors, many freak occurrences have been reported by locals. These include a significant increase in the level and temperature of water in wells, and the fusion of underground pipes.
The intensification of seismic activity prompted geophysicists several months ago to increase monitoring, and to re-examine data.
Scientists say the cause of the phenomenon - which is most strongly registered around Lake Albano - is pressure from an underground chamber of volcanic magma.
This is estimated to lie three miles down and to extend to 600,000 cubic metres.
Although there was "no imminent danger, and no immediate cause for alarm," Prof Enzo Boschi, president of the institute, was reported yesterday as saying that the phenomenon was being watched "with attention".
He said: "There is molten magma which is pushing and creating pressure, which is causing the ground to swell.
"The area is vast and is densely populated. For this reason we have decided to intensify measures and geophysical monitoring points".
Electronic Telegraph is a Registered Service Mark of The Telegraph plc
Note that this is a press article, presenting the information in a somewhat dramatic way. However, the information is basically correct: on the September 1995 "Volcanoes in Town" conference, one of the papers presented by CHIARABBA and others was entitled: "Alban Hills: an unresting volcano?
This info is corroborated by Amato & Chiarabba (1995) who reported 30 cm of uplift in the central part of the Colli Albani between 1951 and 1994. This was in accord with an intrusion of 6 x 10^5 m^3 assuming a magma chamber at 5 km depth. However, in a recently published monograph (Trigila 1995), it was stated that there was a trend at the Colli Albani volcanic center to produce diminishing volumes of erupted material with time, and a future eruption, if any, should produce very minor amounts of new magmatic products.
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