High-resolution 40Ar/39Ar chronostratigraphy of the post-caldera (<20 ka) volcanic activity at Pantelleria, Sicily Strait

Silvio Giuseppe Rotolo, Grazia Vita-Scaillet, Silvio G. Rotolo, Stéphane Scaillet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The island of Pantelleria (Sicily Strait), the type locality for pantellerite, has been the locus of major calderaformingeruptions that culminated, ca. 50 ka ago, in the formation of the Cinque Denti caldera produced by theGreen Tuff eruption. The post-caldera silicic activity since that time has been mostly confined inside the calderaand consists of smaller-energy eruptions represented by more than twenty coalescing pantelleritic centersstructurally controlled by resurgence and trapdoor faulting of the caldera floor. A high-resolution 40Ar/39Arstudy was conducted on key units spanning the recent (post-20 ka) intracaldera activity to better characterizethe present-day status (and forecast the short-term behavior of) the system based on the temporal evolution ofthe latest eruptions. The new 40Ar/39Ar data capture a long-term (N15 ka) decline in eruption frequency with ashift in eruptive pace from 3.5 ka−1 to 0.8 ka−1 associated with a prominent paleosol horizon marking the onlyrecognizable volcanic stasis around 12–14 ka. This shift in extraction frequency occurswithoutmajor changes ineruptive style, and is paralleled by a subtle trend of decreasingmelt differentiation index. We speculate that thisdecline probably occurred (i) without short-term variations in melt production/differentiation rate in a steadystatecompositionally-zoned silicic reservoir progressively tapped deeper through the sequence, and (ii) that itwas possibly modulated by outboard eustatic forcing due to the 140 m sea level rise over the past 21 ka. Theintracaldera system is experiencing a protracted stasis since 7 ka. Coupled with recent geodetic evidence ofdeflation and subsidence of the caldera floor, the system appears today to be on a wane with no temporalevidence for a short-term silicic eruption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-290
Number of pages11
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume309
Publication statusPublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'High-resolution 40Ar/39Ar chronostratigraphy of the post-caldera (<20 ka) volcanic activity at Pantelleria, Sicily Strait'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this