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40Ar/39Ar radiometric dating to constrain the volcanic stratigraphy: The Mt. Etna methodological case

Emanuela De Beni
Emanuela De Beni
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia–Sezione di Catania, Piazza Roma 2, 95123 Catania, Italy
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Gianluca Groppelli
Gianluca Groppelli
Istituto per la Dinamica dei Processi Ambientali–Sezione di Milano, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, via Mangiagalli 34, 20133 Milano, Italy
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April 2010

Although ~50 radiometric age analyses have been performed on Etna, and there are many historical references, these are not enough to temporally constrain the geological evolution of the volcano. In particular, a new stratigraphic framework based on lithostratigraphic and unconformity-bounded units has pointed out the presence of some stratigraphic uncertainty that can be resolved only with radiometric dating. For this reason, a dating project applying the 40Ar/39Ar incremental heating technique started in 2002. The results obtained improve our understanding and provide constraints for Etna's geological evolution; in addition, they show that the applied technique is very useful for dating young basalts and quantifying the hiatus represented by unconformities, as well as for understanding their meaning.

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GSA Special Papers

Stratigraphy and Geology of Volcanic Areas

Edited by
Gianluca Groppelli
Gianluca Groppelli
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto per la Dinamica dei Processi Ambientali, Sezione di Milano, Milano, Italy
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Lothar Viereck-Goette
Lothar Viereck-Goette
Institut für Geowissenschaften, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Jena, Germany
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Geological Society of America
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