Tephrostratigraphy and glass compositions of post-15 kyr Campi Flegrei eruptions: implications for eruption history and chronostratigraphic markers

V. C. Smith, R. Isaia, N. J. G. Pearce

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222 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Volcanic ash (tephra) erupted from the frequently active Campi Flegrei volcano forms layers in many palaeoenvironmental archives across Italy and the Mediterranean. Proximal deposits of 50 of the post-15 ka eruptions have been thoroughly sampled and analysed to produce a complete database of glass compositions (>1900 analyses) to aid identification of these units. The deposits of individual eruptions are compositionally diverse and this variability is often greater than that observed between different units. Many of the tephra units do not have a unique glass chemistry, with compositionally similar tephra often erupted over long periods of time (1000s years). Thus, glass chemistry alone is not enough to robustly correlate most of the tephra from Campi Flegrei, especially in the last 10 kyrs. In order to reliably correlate the eruption units it is important to take into account the stratigraphy, chronology, magnitude, and dispersal of the eruptions, which has been collated to aid identification. An updated chronology is also presented, which was constrained using Bayesian analysis (OxCal) of published radiocarbon dates and 40Ar/39Ar ages. All the data presented can be employed to help correlate post-15 ka tephra units preserved in archaeological and Holocene palaeoenvironmental archives. The new database of proximal glass compositions has been used to correlate proximal volcanic deposits through to distal tephra layers in the Lago di Monticchio record (Wulf et al., 2004 and Wulf et al., 2008) and these correlations provide information on eruption stratigraphy and the tempo of volcanism at Campi Flegrei.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3638-3660
Number of pages23
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume30
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2011

Keywords

  • Tephrochronology
  • Campi Flegrei
  • Glass chemistry
  • Lago di Monticchio

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