Abstract

Three air-fall tephra layers have been identified in a 20,000-year sedimentary record retrieved from the bottom of the Lago di Pergusa lake in central Sicily. Investigations on glass particle morphology, mineral content, and grain-discrete major element composition of the glass fraction of each tephra have been carried out for identification of source volcano and correlation to corresponding proximal deposits. AMS <sup>14</sup> C dating on lacustrine sediment samples provides the chronological framework. The youngest tephra layer (3.1 ka) is benmoreitic-mugearitic in composition and is attributed to the explosive activity of Etna. The second tephra layer (about 20 ka) consists of pumice pyroclasts of uniform high-K rhyolitic composition and correlates with the Monte Guardia pyroclastic deposits of Lipari (Aeolian Islands). The oldest tephra layer (about 20 ka) shows a potassic trachy-latitic composition and may originate from either Vulcano (Aeolian Islands) or the Campanian volcanic area. This study develops the first tephra record in the island of Sicily that integrates the stratigraphy of distal tephra layers in the central Mediterranean. The finding of tephra layers at Lago di Pergusa provides new information on Late Quaternary explosive activity of the Mediterranean volcanoes.

You do not currently have access to this article.