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Characterizing magma fragmentation and its relationship with eruptive styles of Somma-Vesuvius volcano (Naples, Italy)

Abstract : Among the active volcanoes worldwide, Somma-Vesuvius is one with the highest volcanic risk as the surrounding areas are highly populated. Somma-Vesuvius is quiescent since 1944, but geological and historical records reveal a frequent violent explosive activity in the last 4000 years, representing a severe risk for the ∼700,000 inhabitants currently living in the area having a high probability for being impacted by pyroclastic density currents ("red zone") and more than one million people who can be potentially affected by tephra fallout. This study aims to analyze the distribution and grain-size of tephra fallout deposits from several Somma-Vesuvius eruptions of different styles, ranging from Violent Strombolian to sub-Plinian and Plinian, for characterizing the associated magmatic fragmentation through the assessment of their total grain-size distribution (TGSD). Chronologically, we focus on the Avellino (4365 BP) and Pompeii (A.D. 79) Plinian eruptions, the Pollena (A.D. 472) sub-Plinian eruption, and the 1906 and 1944 Violent Strombolian eruptions. The related TGSDs were estimated by means of the Voronoi tessellation method, which requires a suitable number of local grain-size distributions and estimation of the area of minimum tephra loading (zero-line contour). However, field-derived TGSDs can be biased towards the coarse and fine grain-size populations due to the typical paucity of available field outcrops of fallout deposits. To encompass this issue, we performed a sensitivity study on the assumption behind TGSD reconstructions and described TGSDs through analytical grain-size distributions that best fit the field TGSDs. Our main objective is a more robust estimation of the TGSDs associated with the different eruptive styles, which is crucial, together with the other eruption source parameters, for robustly predicting tephra loading and airborne ash dispersal of future eruptions at Somma-Vesuvius.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 29, 2022 - 3:18:17 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 1, 2022 - 3:31:59 AM

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Matthieu Poret, Miriana Di Donato, Antonio Costa, Roberto Sulpizio, Daniela Mele, et al.. Characterizing magma fragmentation and its relationship with eruptive styles of Somma-Vesuvius volcano (Naples, Italy). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 2020, 393, 275, p. 64-82. ⟨10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2019.106683⟩. ⟨insu-03708945⟩

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