Igneous activity in central-southern Italy: Is the subduction paradigm still valid?
Published:January 27, 2022
Michele Lustrino, Claudio Chiarabba, Eugenio Carminati, 2022. "Igneous activity in central-southern Italy: Is the subduction paradigm still valid?", In the Footsteps of Warren B. Hamilton: New Ideas in Earth Science, Gillian R. Foulger, Lawrence C. Hamilton, Donna M. Jurdy, Carol A. Stein, Keith A. Howard, Seth Stein
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The Pliocene–Quaternary igneous record of the Tyrrhenian Sea area features a surprisingly large range of compositions from subalkaline to ultra-alkaline and from ultrabasic to acid. These rocks, emplaced within the basin and along its margins, are characterized by strongly SiO2-undersaturated and CaO-rich to strongly SiO2-oversaturated and peraluminous compositions, with sodic to ultrapotassic alkaline and tholeiitic to calc-alkaline and high-K calc-alkaline affinities. We focused on the different models proposed to explain the famous Roman Comagmatic Region, part of the Quaternary volcanism that spreads along the eastern side of the Tyrrhenian area, in the stretched part of the Apennines thrust-and-fold belt. We reviewed data and hypotheses proposed in the literature that infer active to fossil subduction up to models that exclude subduction entirely. Many field geology observations sustain the interpretation that the evolution of the Tyrrhenian-Apennine system was related to subduction of the western margin of Adria continental lithosphere after minor recycling of oceanic lithosphere. However, the lateral extent of the subducting slab in the last millions of years, when magmatism flared up, remains debatable. The igneous activity that developed in the last millions of years along the Tyrrhenian margin is here explained as originating from a subduction-modified mantle, regardless of whether the large-scale subduction system is still active.