19 Aug 2022
19 Aug 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

A geodatabase of historical landslide events occurred in the highly urbanized volcanic area of Campi Flegrei, Italy

Giuseppe Esposito1 and Fabio Matano2 Giuseppe Esposito and Fabio Matano
  • 1National Research Council - Research Institute for Geo-hydrological Protection (CNR-IRPI), Perugia, 06128, Italy
  • 2National Research Council - Research Institute of Marine Sciences (CNR-ISMAR), Napoli, 80133, Italy

Abstract. The analysis of geological processes threatening people and properties in a populated region should be based on a comprehensive knowledge of historical events and related characteristics. This type of information is essential for predisposing event scenarios, validating prediction models, and planning risk mitigation measures. Such activities may be more complex in some geological settings, where urban settlements are exposed to multi-hazard conditions. This is the case of the densely populated Campi Flegrei volcanic area located in the Campania region, southern Italy. Here, volcanic and seismic hazards are associated with landslides, floods, and coastal erosion, which are playing a relevant role in the landscape modelling. The CAmpi Flegrei LAndslide Geodatabase (CAFLAG), here presented, provides information related to 2302 landslides that occurred in the continental, coastal and insular sectors of this area, during the 1828–2017 time interval. Data associated to the collected landslide events permitted to identify the characteristics of both landslides and of the affected sites. Most of the mass movements consist of rock falls, affecting rocky slopes formed by lithified volcanic rocks, such as lava, tuff or ignimbrite. In addition, rainfall-induced earth and debris slides translating into debris flows or avalanches occur along steep slopes mantled by weakly welded pyroclastic airfall deposits, similarly to other areas of the region. The highest density of landslides results along the coastline where they are contributing to the retreat of coastal cliffs, and along inland slopes exposed towards the western directions. Temporal information shows an increase of the annual frequency of landslides since the ’80s, with peaks in the years 1986, 1997, 2005. Regarding the human impact, a total of 127 people lost their life as consequence of 53 fatal landslides occurred in the last century. On the other side, the frequency of deadly events is decreasing since the early 1990s. Despite this, landslides continue to represent a societal risk in the area, requiring therefore to be fully addressed with advanced knowledge and accurate scenarios, which need to be developed by taking into account also the effects of the ongoing climate change. The full database is freely available online at: (Esposito and Matano, 2021).

Giuseppe Esposito and Fabio Matano

Status: open (until 14 Oct 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2022-267', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 Sep 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2022-267', Anonymous Referee #2, 04 Sep 2022 reply
  • RC3: 'Comment on essd-2022-267', Anonymous Referee #3, 16 Sep 2022 reply

Giuseppe Esposito and Fabio Matano

Data sets

CAmpi Flegrei LAndslide Geodatabase (CAFLAG) Giuseppe Esposito, Fabio Matano

Giuseppe Esposito and Fabio Matano


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Short summary
In the highly urbanized volcanic area of Campi Flegrei (southern Italy), more than 500,000 people are exposed to multi-hazard conditions, including landslides. Here, in the 1828–2017 time span, more than two thousand mass movements affected the volcanic slopes, concentrating mostly along the coastal sector. Rapid rock failures and flow-like landslides are frequent in the whole area. Besides their relevant role in modeling the landscape of Campi Flegrei, these processes pose also a societal risk.