International Geological Journal - Official Journal of the Carpathian-Balkan Geological Association

Revised modelling of the post-AD 79 volcanic deposits of Somma-Vesuvius to reconstruct the pre-AD 79 topography of the Sarno River plain (Italy)

Pages: 5 - 16


Abstract: In this study the methodology proposed by Vogel & Marker (2010) to reconstruct the pre-AD 79 topography and paleo-environmental features of the Sarno River plain (Italy) was considerably revised and improved. The methodology is based on an extensive dataset of stratigraphical information from the entire Sarno River plain, a high-resolution present-day digital elevation model (DEM) and a classification and regression tree approach. The dataset was re-evaluated and 32 additional stratigraphical drillings were collected in areas that were not or insufficiently covered by previous stratigraphic data. Altogether, an assemblage of 1,840 drillings, containing information about the depth from the present-day surface to the pre-AD 79 paleo-surface (thickness of post-AD 79 deposits) and the character of the pre-AD 79 paleo-layer of the Sarno River plain was utilized. Moreover, an improved preprocessing of the input parameters attained a distinct progress in model performance in comparison to the previous model of Vogel & Marker (2010). Subsequently, a spatial model of the post-AD 79 deposits was generated. The modelled deposits were then used to reconstruct the pre-AD 79 topography of the Sarno River plain. Moreover, paleo-environmental and paleo-geomorphological features such as the paleo-coastline, the paleo-Sarno River and its floodplain, alluvial fans near the Tyrrhenian coast as well as abrasion terraces of historical and protohistorical coastlines were identified. This reconstruction represents a qualitative improvement of the previous work by Vogel & Marker (2010).

Keywords: AD 79, Sarno River plain, Somma-Vesuvius, modelling, paleo-environment, paleo-topography, landscape reconstruction

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Volume 62 no. 1 / February 2011

Volume 62 no. 1