After studying sediment cores from a previous drilling project in Pozzuoli, researchers found a layer of carbon-rich rocks sitting 2.9 kilometers below the city.
When seawater infiltrates the carbon-rich rocks, they emit CO2, which reacts with calcium and hydrogen-rich rocks to form calcium hydroxide, or hydrated lime, one of the key ingredients in cement. Geothermal fluids push the natural lime up toward a top layer of ash deposited by previous eruptions, forming natural high-strength, fibrous concrete.
The material may have served as the inspiration for the creation of Roman concrete which led to the building of Rome’s architectural wonders such as the Pantheon and the aqueducts that still stand today, the researchers say.


  1. http://news.sciencemag.org/earth/2015/07/natural-rock-near-naples-italy-may-have-inspired-roman-concrete


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