The explosions of mud volcanoes, such as the one that occurred today in Sicily, the reserve Aragon Maccalube to-Caldare (Agrigento), are far from rare. "It 's not possible to predict these natural phenomena, but it' s clear that we must study them to be able to have a system of monitoring and control similar to that used for earthquakes and volcanoes," notes Rocco Favara, director of the National Institute of Palermo Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). The volcanoes are so little studied, even though they are very common in Sicily, where as well as in the province of Agrigento are located near Caltanissetta (where 'an explosion took place in 2008) and of Catania, near Paterno' and Belpasso.
They are also found in other Italian regions, Basilicata to Calabria, to Campania, Lazio, Abruzzo, Marche and Emilia Romagna. In the rest of the world mud volcanoes they are in the US, particularly in Yellowstone Park, in South America (Venezuela and Colombia) and in Asia. Off the coast of Pakistan, for example, in 2009 and 'explosion occurred so' great to generate an island. Phenomena are also known for some time: in fact, it is noted in the blog dedicated to earthquakes INGV, which is named after the reserve Macalube "derives from Maqlu'b which literally means 'upset', because of its geological features of continuous activity ''.
The mud volcanoes, Favara says, "are miniature volcanoes, but of course with a lot of differences compared to the volcanoes real". A provoke them, the expert continues, and 'the ascent of gas (in many cases, as in Maccalube, it comes to methane) and water from the subsoil. At the time when the water passes through areas rich in clay, this becomes 'plastic'. It is formed so 'a fluid material which gradually is brought to the surface by the constant slope of the gases and continues to accumulate to the point where the gas pressure does not become such as to cause a kind of' eruption ', a tilting that can' produce emissions of mud able to reach a height of between 10 and 25 meters. "I vulcanellidi mud - noted the expert - are among the many phenomena which 'undergoes the Italian territory and should be studied in more detail. Unfortunately the money to do it are few. "