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Authors: D'Alessandro, W.* 
Giammanco, S.* 
Bellomo, S.* 
Parello, F.* 
Title: Geochemistry and mineralogy of travertine deposits of the SW flank of Mt. Etna (Italy): Relationships with past volcanic and degassing activity
Issue Date: 17-May-2007
Series/Report no.: 165 (2007)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2007.04.011
Keywords: Mt. Etna
travertine deposits
carbon isotope composition
mineralogical composition
chemical composition
CO2 budget
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.02. Carbon cycling 
Abstract: Travertine deposits outcropping in the lower SW flank of Mt. Etna were studied for their mapping, as well as for their chemical, mineralogical and isotopic compositions. These deposits are dated to about 24 to 5 ka in the Adrano area, located at the western limit of the study area. In this area travertines show high Mg contents and are composed mostly of dolomite, thus apparently ruling out any primary deposition in favour of a diagenetic origin. Travertines outcropping near Paternò, in the east part of the study area, should be younger than 18 ka. Those located to the SSW of Paternò (Paternò–Diga) show high Sr contents and aragonite as dominant mineralogical phase, thus suggesting primary deposition. Those located to the Wof Paternò (Paternò Simeto–Stazione) are instead poor both in Mg and in Sr and show calcite as dominant phase. Carbon isotope composition of travertines indicates a magmatic origin of CO2 that formed them. Based on the estimated volume of travertines, between 10 and 20 Gg/a of CO2 were involved in their formation. The time-span of travertine formation coincided with the eruptive cycles of Ellittico and the first part of Mongibello, which were probably characterised by a greater amount of CO2 transported through groundwater circulation. Widespread travertine deposition probably ceased after the opening of the Valle del Bove depression that modified the volcanologic and hydrologic conditions in the summit crater area.
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