Abstract

The Island of Linosa is a small part of the large submarine volcanic complex which is located at the SW edge of the Linosa Graben, Sicily Channel. The island was formed between 1.06±0.10 and 0.53±0.07 Ma, through three main stages of activity: Paleo-Linosa, Arena Bianca and Monte Bandiera. Major and trace element data show that the compositional variability of the three activity stages is limited, with most of the rocks showing basaltic to hawaiitic composition. Evolved benmoreites and trachytes are found as lithics in some pyroclastic units of Paleolinosa. The mafic rocks of the three stages show porphyritic texture, with phenocryst assemblages characterized by olivine, clinopyroxene and plagioclase. The volume ratio of olivine vs. clinopyroxene decreases from early to late stages of activity in mafic rocks with comparable major element composition. Clinopyroxene phenocrysts from mafic rocks of the three stages have poorly variable composition, clustering in the augite field. Phenocrysts from the first activity stage (Paleo-Linosa), show a slight increase in TiO2, Al2O3 and CaO, and a decrease of Fe2O3 (total) with the increasing SiO2 content of the host rocks. Crystals from the second and the third stage (Arena Bianca and Monte Bandiera) display a slightly more restricted range of FeOtot, frequently with very high MgO, Al2O3 and TiO2 contents. Crystal chemical investigation of clinopyroxenes from rocks of the three stages with comparable degrees of evolution, revealed significant variation of structural parameters, in particular VM1 and Vcell. These show a consistent decrease, passing from clinopyroxenes of the early stage to crystals extracted from the mafic lavas of stages 2 and 3. Given the similar compositional ranges of the host rocks, structural variations of clinopyroxenes are interpreted to reveal modifications of crystallization pressure, which increased, passing from Paleo-Linosa to the Arena Bianca and Monte Bandiera stages. Given this information, the observed crystal-chemical variations provide information on the depth of magma reservoirs and on the evolution of the plumbing system of Linosa volcano.

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