Temporal Evolution Of The Roccamonfina Volcanic Complex (Pleistocene), Central Italy

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Journal Article: Temporal Evolution Of The Roccamonfina Volcanic Complex (Pleistocene), Central Italy

The Roccamonfina volcanic complex (RVC), in southern Italy, is an Early to Middle Pleistocene stratovolcano sharing temporal and morphological characteristics with the Somma-Vesuvius and the Alban Hills; both being associated with high volcanic hazard for the cities of Naples and Rome, respectively. The RVC is important for the understanding of volcanic evolution in the Roman and Campanian volcanic provinces. We report a comprehensive study of its evolution based on morphological, geochemical and K-Ar geochronological data. The RVC was active from c.a. 550 ka to 150 ka. Its evolution is divided into five stages, defining a volcanic pulse recurrence time of c.a. 90-100 kyr. The two initial stages, consisted in the construction of two successive stratovolcanoes of the tephrite-phonolite, namely "High-K series". The first stage was terminated by a major plinian eruption emplacing the trachytic Rio Rava pumices at 439 ± 9 ka. At the end of the second stage, the last High-K series stratovolcano was destroyed by a large sector collapse and the emplacement of the Brown Leucitic Tuff (BLT) at 353 ± 5 ka. The central caldera of the RVC is the result of the overlapping of the Rio Rava and of the BLT explosions. The plinian eruption of the BLT is related to the emptying of a stratified, deep-seated HKS magma chamber during the upwelling of K series (KS) magma, marking a major geochemical transition and plumbing system re-organization. The following stage was responsible for the emplacement of the Lower White Trachytic Tuff at 331 ± 2 ka, and of basaltic-trachytic effusive products erupted through the main vent. The subsequent activity was mainly restricted to the emplacement of basaltic-shoshonitic parasitic cones and lava flows, and of minor subplinian deposits of the Upper White Trachytic Tuff between 275 and 230 ka. The northern crater is most probably a maar that formed by the phreatomagmatic explosion of the Yellow Trachytic Tuff at 230 ka. The latest stage of activity featured the edification of the central shoshonitic domes at c.a. 150 ka.

V. Rouchon, P. Y. Gillot, X. Quidelleur, S. Chiesa and B. Floris

Published Journal 
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 2008

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V. Rouchon,P. Y. Gillot,X. Quidelleur,S. Chiesa,B. Floris. 2008. Temporal Evolution Of The Roccamonfina Volcanic Complex (Pleistocene), Central Italy. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. (!) .