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Sammichele di Bari, Italy

Volcanic ash causes multiple hazards. One hazard of increasing importance is the threat posed to civil aviation, which occurs over proximal to long-range distances. Ash fallout disrupts airport operations, while the presence of airborne ash at low altitudes near airports affects visibility and the safety of landing and take-off operations. Low concentrations of ash at airplane cruise levels are sufficient to force re-routing of in-flight aircrafts. Volcanic fallout deposits spanning large distances have been recognized from the Somma-Vesuvius volcano for several Holocene explosive eruptions. Here we develop hazard and isochron maps for distal ash fallout from the Somma-Vesuvius, as well as hazard maps for critical ash concentrations at relevant flight levels. Maps are computed by coupling a meteorological model with a fully numeric tephra dispersal model that can account for ash aggregation processes, which are relevant to the dispersion dynamics of fine ash. The simulations were carried out using supercomputing facilities, spanning on entire meteorological year that is statistically representative of the local meteorology during the last few decades. Seasonal influences are also analyzed. The eruptive scenario is based on a Subplinian I-type eruption, which is within the range of the maximum expected event for this volcano. Results allow us to quantify the impact that an event of this magnitude and intensity would have on the main airports and aerial corridors of the Central Mediterranean Area. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

The Lami succession piled up during the explosive activity of the Monte Pilato on Lipari Island (Central Aeolian Arc, Italy). It comprises a repetitive alternation of fall and pyroclastic density current beds, which define 13 Units separated by fine ash beds. Despite the homogeneous rhyolitic composition the juveniles fragments show strong textural heterogeneities from highly vesicular pumice to dense black obsidians. The pumice types are termed: i) "tube", which shows elongated tubular vesicles, ii) "frothy", highly vesicular with large, sub-rounded vesicles, and iii) agglomerated and welded. Two types of obsidian pyroclasts are recognized: i) aphyric black obsidian, and ii) grey obsidian showing spherulitic texture. All these pyroclastic types occur throughout the stratigraphic succession, and mixed in the same bed. They account for changing physical conditions along the conduit, which is hypothesised to be filled by a melt plug during the eruption of 12 out of 13 Units. The strong textural heterogeneities of the juvenile fragments testify for the existence of differential shear rates, which can be explained though two shear mechanism: i) simple shear, producing horizontal zonation of texture in the conduit with black obsidians along the conduit walls passing to tube and frothy pumice to the centre, and ii) pure shear, producing a vertical zonation in the conduit, with black obsidians at the top overlying frothy pumice. Agglomerated and welded pumice of Unit 13 is thought to represent the portion of magma heated by a batch of hotter melt that entered the magma chamber and triggered the eruption. The deposits of Unit 13 represent a unique case of spatter accretion due to accumulation of hot, low-viscous rhyolitic pumice fragments, emplaced from pyroclastic fountaining. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Roverato M.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Capra L.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Sulpizio R.,CIRISIVU | Sulpizio R.,CNR Institute for the Dynamics of Environmental Processes | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research | Year: 2011

Throughout its history, Colima Volcano has experienced numerous partial edifice collapses with associated emplacement of debris avalanche deposits of contrasting volume, morphology and texture. A detailed stratigraphic study in the south-eastern sector of the volcano allowed the recognition of two debris avalanche deposits, named San Marcos (>28,000calyr BP, V=~1.3km3) and Tonila (15,000-16,000calyr BP, V=~1km3). This work sheds light on the pre-failure conditions of the volcano based primarily on a detailed textural study of debris avalanche deposits and their associated pyroclastic and volcaniclastic successions. Furthermore, we show how the climate at the time of the Tonila collapse influenced the failure mechanisms. The >28,000calyr BP San Marcos collapse was promoted by edifice steep flanks and ongoing tectonic and volcanotectonic deformation, and was followed by a magmatic eruption that emplaced pyroclastic flow deposits. In contrast, the Tonila failure occurred just after the Last Glacial Maximum (22,000-18,000cal BP) and, in addition to the typical debris avalanche textural characteristics (angular to sub-angular clasts, coarse matrix, jigsaw fit) it shows a hybrid facies characterized by debris avalanche blocks embedded in a finer, homogenous and partially cemented matrix, a texture more characteristic of debris flow deposits. The Tonila debris avalanche is directly overlain by a 7-m thick hydromagmatic pyroclastic succession. Massive debris flow deposits, often more than 10m thick and containing large amounts of tree trunk logs, represent the top unit in the succession. Fluvial deposits also occur throughout all successions; these represent periods of highly localized stream reworking. All these lines of evidence point to the presence of water in the edifice prior to the Tonila failure, suggesting it may have been a weakening factor. The Tonila failure appears to represent an anomalous event related to the particular climatic conditions at the time of the collapse. The presence of extensive water at the onset of deglaciation modified the mobility of the debris avalanche, and led to the formation of a thick sequence of debris flows. The possibility that such a combination of events can occur, and that their probability is likely to increase during the rainy season, should be taken into consideration when evaluating hazards associated with future collapses at Colima volcano. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Wagner B.,University of Cologne | Vogel H.,University of Cologne | Zanchetta G.,CNR Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources | Sulpizio R.,CIRISIVU
Biogeosciences | Year: 2010

Lakes Prespa and Ohrid, in the Balkan region, are considered to be amongst the oldest lakes in Europe. Both lakes are hydraulically connected via karst aquifers. From Lake Ohrid, several sediment cores up to 15 m long have been studied over the last few years. Here, we document the first long sediment record from nearby Lake Prespa to clarify the influence of Lake Prespa on Lake Ohrid and the environmental history of the region. Radiocarbon dating and dated tephra layers provide robust age control and indicate that the 10.5 m long sediment record from Lake Prespa reaches back to 48 ka. Glacial sedimentation is characterized by low organic matter content and absence of carbonates in the sediments, which indicate oligotrophic conditions in both lakes. Holocene sedimentation is characterized by particularly high carbonate content in Lake Ohrid and by particularly high organic matter content in Lake Prespa, which indicates a shift towards more mesotrophic conditions in the latter. Long-term environmental change and short-term events, such as related to the Heinrich events during the Pleistocene or the 8.2 ka cooling event during the Holocene, are well recorded in both lakes, but are only evident in certain proxies. The comparison of the sediment cores from both lakes indicates that environmental change affects particularly the trophic state of Lake Prespa due to its lower volume and water depth. © Author(s) 2010.

Sulpizio R.,CIRISIVU | Vogel H.,University of Cologne | Wagner B.,University of Cologne
Biogeosciences | Year: 2010

Four cores from Balkans lakes Ohrid and Prespa were examined for recognition of tephra layers and cryptotephras, and the results presented along with the review of data from other two already published cores from Lake Ohrid. The six cores provide a previously unrealised tephrostratigraphic framework of the two lakes, and provide a new tephrostratigraphic profile (composite) for the Balkans, which spans from the end of the Middle Pleistocene to the AD 472. A total of 12 tephra layers and cryptotephras were recognised in the cores. One is of Middle Pleistocene age (131 ka) and correlated to the marine tephra layer P-11 from Pantelleria Island. Eight volcanic layers are Upper Pleistocene in age, and encompass the period between ca. 107 ka and ca. 31 ka. This interval contains some of the main regional volcanic markers of the central Mediterranean area, including X-6, X-5, Y-5 and Y-3 tephra layers. The other layers of this interval have been related to the marine tephra layers C20, Y-6 and C10, while one was for the first time recognised in distal areas and correlated to the Taurano eruption of probable Vesuvian origin. Three cryptotephras were of Holocene age. Two of which have been correlated to Mercato and AD 472 eruptions of Somma-Vesuvius, while the third has been correlated to the FL eruption from Mount Etna. These recognitions provide a link of the Ohrid and Prespa lacustrine successions to other archives of the central Mediterranean area, like south Adriatic, Ionian, and south Tyrrhenian seas, lakes of southern Italy (Lago Grande di Monticchio, Pantano di San Gregorio Magno and Lago di Pergusa) and Balkans (Lake Shkodra). © 2010 Author(s).

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