A revision of the structure and stratigraphy of pre-Green Tuff ignimbrites at Pantelleria (Strait of Sicily)

Abstract : At Pantelleria, peralkaline silicic magmas were erupted across a range of eruptive typologies and magnitudes: pyroclastic flows, Plinian to strombolian pumice fallout and lava flows. In this paper we focus on the intermediate cycle of eruptive activity which is bracketed by ignimbrite units slightly older than the two caldera collapses which marked the volcanological activity of the island. This age interval (180-85 ka) was punctuated by six ignimbrite-forming eruptions (silicic and variably peralkaline) for a cumulative erupted magma volume of approximately 6 km3 dense rock equivalent. Based on new 40Ar/39Ar (Na,K)-feldspar ages and petrographic data, we propose an updated volcanostratigraphic scheme for these welded and rheomorphic ignimbrites that can be summarised as follows: (i) the age of the old ('La Vecchia') caldera collapse is now tightly constrained between 140 and 146 ka and the caldera-forming eruption can be traced to a lithic-rich welded tuff breccia that outcrops in two opposite sectors of the island (south-west and north-east); (ii) four ignimbrite units previously considered unrelated are now merged in two distinct eruptive paroxysmal events at 107 and 85 ka. In particular, the 85 ka eruptive event is comparable in magnitude to the younger (caldera forming) Green Tuff Plinian eruption; (iii) the recurrence patterns of the 107 and 85 ka eruptions, compared to the Green Tuff, allow us to qualitatively assess that the climax in production of low-temperature silicic and peralkaline melt was focused in the age interval 85-45 ka.
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Silvio G. Rotolo, Stéphane Scaillet, Sonia La Felice, Grazia Vita-Scaillet. A revision of the structure and stratigraphy of pre-Green Tuff ignimbrites at Pantelleria (Strait of Sicily). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Elsevier, 2013, 250, pp.61-74. ⟨10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2012.10.009⟩. ⟨insu-00829754⟩

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