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Authors: Aulinas, M.* 
Civetta, L.* 
Di Vito, M. A.* 
Orsi, G* 
Title: The “Pomici di mercato” Plinian eruption of Somma-Vesuvius: magma chamber processes and eruption dynamics
Journal: Bull Volcanol 
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Issue Date: 2007
DOI: 10.1007/s00445-007-0172-z
Keywords: Vesuvius
Pomici di Mercato eruption
Magma chamber
Radiogenic isotopes
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.10. Stratigraphy 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.05. Volcanic rocks 
Abstract: The Pomici di Mercato (PdM, 8,010±40 a), also known in the literature as Pomici Gemelle or Pomici di Ottaviano, is one of the oldest Plinian eruptions of Somma- Vesuvius. This eruption occurred after the longest (7 ka) quiescence period of the volcano and was followed by more than 4 ka of repose. The erupted magma is phonolitic in composition. All the products have very low phenocrysts content (less than 3%) and show evidence of mineralogical disequilibria. They contain K-feldspar ± clinopyroxene (salite and diopside) ± plagioclase ± garnet ± biotite ± amphibole ± apatite ± Fe-Ti oxides. Pumice fragments collected at different stratigraphic heights are slightly less evolved and more enriched in radiogenic Sr composition upsection. The glass composition is fairly homogeneous in single pumice fragment and among pumice fragments from different layers. Glass separated from pumice fragments collected at different stratigraphic heights is homogeneous in the Sr-isotope composition (around a value of 0.70717). Glass is in isotopic equilibrium with salite throughout the entire sequence and with diopside at the base of the sequence. Diopside becomes more radiogenic upsection, reaching a value of 0.707458±7, whereas feldspar is consistently slightly less radiogenic than glass. Nd-isotope composition is fairly uniform (ca. 0.51247) through the whole sequence. The isotopic disequilibria among glass, feldspar and diopside, together with the homogeneous isotopic composition of pumice glass in equilibrium with salite, and the mineralogical disequilibria between plagioclase and K-feldspar, imply that most of the diopside and plagioclase crystals are xenocrysts incorporated into the phonolitic magma during residence in a magma chamber and/or during ascent towards the surface. The PdM Tephra are compositionally and isotopically similar to the phonolitic, first-erupted products of the subsequent Pomici di Avellino Plinian eruption. On the basis of this similarity, we suggest that the magma feeding both eruptions resulted from the tapping of a unique magma chamber. Prior to the PdM eruption, this chamber was formed by a large and homogeneous phonolitic magma body. After the PdM eruption, as a consequence of new arrivals of more radiogenic in Sr, less-differentiated magma batches, the magma chamber progressively developed a slightly stratified phonolitic uppermost portion, capping a tephriphonolitic layer, both emitted during the subsequent Pomici di Avellino eruption.
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