Eruptive and depositional processes of widely dispersed volcanic ash: Insights from the Brown Tuffs (Aeolian Islands)

Meschiari, Sara (2021) Eruptive and depositional processes of widely dispersed volcanic ash: Insights from the Brown Tuffs (Aeolian Islands), [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze della terra, della vita e dell'ambiente, 33 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9970.
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This is a multidisciplinary study of the Brown Tuffs (BT) ash deposits of the Aeolian Islands in northern Sicily and representing the most voluminous and widely distributed tephra deposit in this region. A large dataset of major and minor elements of the BT glass has defined a range from K-series basaltic-andesites and trachy-andesites through to tephri-phonolites and trachytes that is consistent with the Vulcano magmatic system. Combined with stratigraphic information and new radiocarbon ages, four stratigraphic macro-units are defined: the Lower (80-56 ky; LBT), Intermediate (56-27 ky; IBT), Intermediate-upper (26-24 ky; IBT-upper) and Upper BT (24-6 ky; UBT). Glass compositional data provide constraints on proximal-distal correlations of the BT with deep-sea tephra layers in the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic Seas and new insights on the definition of the dispersal area of the BT eruptions. Sedimentological evidence of massive to stratified deposits and shear-related structures, coupled with grain-size and componentry analyses, have allowed to interpret the BT as the result of laterally-spreading, concentrated ash-rich PDCs, with a high potential of erosion of the substratum. Shear-structures similar to those observed in the field in the BT deposits have been reproduced by small-medium scale laboratory experiments carried out on ash granular flows, which have also allowed to describe the behaviour of ash-rich PDcs and their mobility depending on variations of slope-ratio, grain size and flow channelization. The resulting integrated dataset provides a contribution to the knowledge of the BT eruptions and insights on long-term hazard assessment in the study area. The eruptive dynamics of the BT may have a role in characterizing the whole magmatic system of the La Fossa Caldera on Vulcano, in the light of the geochemical link highlighted between the UBT macrounit and the early products of the La Fossa cone.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Meschiari, Sara
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Brown Tuffs; volcanic ash; Aeolian Islands; tephrostratigraphy; geochemistry; pyroclastic density currents; eruptive dynamics
Data di discussione
15 Ottobre 2021

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