We study whether the shallow volcanic seismic tremors related to the bradyseism observed at the Phlegraean Fields (Campi Flegrei, Pozzuoli, and Naples) from 2008 to 2020 by the Osservatorio Vesuviano could be partially triggered by local rainfall events. We use the daily rainfall record measured at the nearby Meteorological Observatory of San Marcellino in Naples and develop two empirical models to simulate the local seismicity starting from the hypothesized rainfall-water effect under different scenarios. We found statistically significant correlations between the volcanic tremors at the Phlegraean Fields and our rainfall model during years of low bradyseism. More specifically, we observe that large amounts and continuous periods of rainfall could trigger, from a few days to 1 or 2 weeks, seismic swarms with magnitudes up to M
= 3. The results indicate that, on long timescales, the seismicity at the Phlegraean Fields is very sensitive to the endogenous pressure from the deep magmatic system causing the bradyseism, but meteoric water infiltration could play an important triggering effect on short timescales of days or weeks. Rainfall water likely penetrates deeply into the highly fractured and hot shallow-water-saturated subsurface that characterizes the region, reduces the strength and stiffness of the soil and, finally, boils when it mixes with the hot hydrothermal magmatic fluids migrating upward. The structural collapse of the saturated fractured soil and the mixing of the meteoric fluid with the hot deep fluids triggers the local seismic activity.
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