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Authors: Gurioli, L.*
Sulpizio, R.*
Cioni, R.*
Sbrana, A.*
Santacroce, R.*
Luperini, W.*
Andronico, D.*
Title: Pyroclastic flow hazard assessment at Somma–Vesuvius based on the geological record.
Title of journal: Bullettin of Volcanology
Series/Report no.: /72 (2010)
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Issue Date: 2010
DOI: 10.1007/s00445-010-0379-2
Keywords: Pyroclastic flow
Hazard assessment
Mt Somma
Pyroclastic density currents
Abstract: During the past 22 ka of activity at Somma– Vesuvius, catastrophic pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) have been generated repeatedly. Examples are those that destroyed the towns of Pompeii and Ercolano in AD 79, as well as Torre del Greco and several circum-Vesuvian villages in AD 1631. Using new field data and data available from the literature, we delineate the area impacted by PDCs at Somma–Vesuvius to improve the related hazard assessment. We mainly focus on the dispersal, thickness, and extent of the PDC deposits generated during seven plinian and sub-plinian eruptions, namely, the Pomici di Base, Greenish Pumice, Pomici di Mercato, Pomici di Avellino, Pompeii Pumice, AD 472 Pollena, and AD 1631 eruptions. We present maps of the total thickness of the PDC deposits for each eruption. Five out of seven eruptions dispersed PDCs radially, sometimes showing a preferred direction controlled by the position of the vent and the paleotopography. Only the PDCs from AD 1631 eruption were influenced by the presence of the Mt Somma caldera wall which stopped their advance in a northerly direction. Most PDC deposits are located downslope of the pronounced break-in slope that marks the base of the Somma– Vesuvius cone. PDCs from the Pomici di Avellino and Pompeii Pumice eruptions have the most dispersed deposits (extending more than 20 km from the inferred vent). These deposits are relatively thin, normally graded, and stratified. In contrast, thick, massive, lithic-rich deposits are only dispersed within 7 to 8 km of the vent. Isopach maps and the deposit features reveal that PDC dispersal was strongly controlled by the intensity of the eruption (in terms of magma discharge rate), the position of the vent area with respect to the Mt Somma caldera wall, and the pre-existing topography. Facies characteristics of the PDC deposits appear to correlate with dispersal; the stratified facies are consistently dispersed more widely than the massive facies.
Appears in Collections:04.08.08. Volcanic risk
Papers Published / Papers in press

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