Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Di Roberto A., Rosi M., Bertagnini A., Marani M. P., Gamberi F., Del Principe A. Deep water gravity core from the Marsili Basin (Tyrrhenian Sea) records Pleistocenic-Holocenic explosive events and instability of the Aeolian Archipelago, (Italy). In: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, vol. 177 (1) pp. 133 - 144. Elsevier Science Bv, 2008.
A 4.8 m long gravity core was recovered on a relative topographic high in the northern part of the Marsili Basin (southern Tyrrhenian Sea) at a water depth of 3200 m. The core was taken in order to decipher the sedimentary record of the past volcanic events of the nearby Aeolian arc. A succession of thin (2 cm to 5 cm thick) fine-grained turbidites, mainly of volcaniclastic origin, topped by hemipelagic mud layers and a number of primary tephra layers were recovered by the core. The most prominent turbidite occurs in the lower part of the core at 385 cm. It consists of a 20 cm-thick, thinning-upward, pebble to sand-sized bed. Grain-size analysis and component compositions in the 0.063–0.250 mm size fractions were determined on thirty samples taken from primary tephra beds and the silty–sandy basal part of the volcaniclastic turbidite units. SEM scans and glass fraction chemical analyses were successively carried out on a selection of 17 samples. To aid source correlation and comparison, sub-aerial tephras of the Lower Pollara (Salina, 24 ± 3.6 ka), Gabellotto-Fiumebianco (Lipari, 8.5 or 11.5 ka), Monte Pilato (Lipari, 749 or 580 AD) and Secche di Lazzaro (Stromboli, ~ 5 ka) eruptions were also analyzed with the same procedure. Primary tephra respectively belonging to the eruptions of Lower Pollara, Gabellotto-Fiumebianco and Vesuvius (AP eruptions 3.5 ka–79 AD) were identified in the core at the expected relative stratigraphic depths. Two turbidite beds composed of monogenic glass shards were also identified and interpreted as the remobilisation of primary tephras of Secche di Lazzaro (Stromboli, 5 ka) and Pilato (Lipari, 580 or 749 AD). Tephrochronology results indicate that the cored sequence formed in the last 30 ka suggesting an average sedimentation rate of 0.15–0.17 mm/y. The thick pebbly sandy turbidite unit in the lower part of the core has component and glass composition compatible with the Lower Pollara volcanic sequence of Salina Island. In view of the grain-size and thickness of the turbidite unit, we suggest that it represents the deposit of a large failure event. The tephra corresponding to the Lower Pollara event lies below the turbidite unit, separated by 16 cm of hemipelagic mud, indicating that the collapse took place sometime after the eruption.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2008.01.009
Subject tephrochronology
turbidity current
flank collapse
Marsili Basin
gravity core

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