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

Pleistocene volcaniclastic units from North-Eastern Sicily (Italy): new evidence for calc-alkaline explosive volcanism in the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea

Pages: 371 - 389

Authors: MARCELLA DI BELLA, FRANCESCO ITALIANO, GIUSEPPE SABATINO, ALESSANDRO TRIPODO, ANGELA BALDANZA, SERGIO CASELLA, PAOLO PINO, RICCARDO RASA’, SELMA RUSSO

Abstract: A well-preserved volcaniclastic sequence crops out in Pleistocene marine sediments along the Tyrrhenian coastline of the Calabrian-Peloritani arc (Sicily, Italy), testifying the occurrence of Lower-Middle Pleistocene volcanic activity in Southern Tyrrhenian Sea. The presence of dominant highly vesicular and minor blocky glassy particles indicates that the volcanic clasts were originated by explosive events related to the ascent and violent emission of volatile-rich magmas accompanied by and/or alternated with hydromagmatic fragmentation due to magma-sea water interaction. Field investigations and sedimentological features of the studied volcaniclastic units suggest a deposition from sediment-water density ows. The chemical classi cation of the pumice clasts indicates prevalent rhyolitic and dacitic compositions with calc-alkaline to high-K calc-alkaline af nity. The geochemical features of immobile trace elements together with the presence of orthopyroxene are indicative of a provenance from an arc-type environment. The age (from 980-910 to 589 ka), the chemical composition and the evidence of subaerial explosive volcanic activity constrain the origin nature and temporal evolution of the arc-type volcanism in the Southern Tyrrhenian domain. Finally, the new information here provided contribute to a better understanding of the temporal geodynamic evolution of this sector of the Mediterranean domain.

Keywords: volcaniclastic deposits, Pleistocene volcanism, N-E Sicily, stratigraphy, explosive volcanic activity, Arc volcanism

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