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Authors: Sulpizio, R.* 
Cioni, R.* 
Di Vito, M. A.* 
Mele, D.* 
Bonasia, R.* 
Dellino, P.* 
Title: The Pomici di Avellino eruption of Somma-Vesuvius (3.9 ka BP). Part I: stratigraphy, compositional variability and eruptive dynamics
Issue Date: 2010
Series/Report no.: /72(2010)
DOI: 10.1007/s00445-009-0339-x
Keywords: Avellino eruption
Eruptive dynamics
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.10. Stratigraphy 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.05. Volcanic rocks 
Abstract: The stratigraphic succession of the Pomici di Avellino Plinian eruption from Somma-Vesuvius has been studied through field and laboratory data in order to reconstruct the eruption dynamics. This eruption is particularly important in the Somma-Vesuvius eruptive history because (1) its vent was offset with respect to the present day Vesuvius cone; (2) it was characterised by a distinct opening phase; (3) breccia-like very proximal fall deposits are preserved close to the vent and (4) the pyroclastic density currents generated during the final phreatomagmatic phase are among the most widespread and voluminous in the entire history of the volcano. The stratigraphic succession is, here, divided into deposits of three main eruptive phases (opening, magmatic Plinian and phreatomagmatic), which contain five eruption units. Short-lived sustained columns occurred twice during the opening phase (Ht of 13 and 21.5 km, respectively) and dispersed thin fall deposits and small pyroclastic density currents onto the volcano slopes. The magmatic Plinian phase produced the main volume of erupted deposits, emplacing white and grey fall deposits which were dispersed to the northeast. Peak column heights reached 23 and 31 km during the withdrawal of the white and the grey magmas, respectively. Only one small pyroclastic density current was emplaced during the main Plinian phase. In contrast, the final phreatomagmatic phase was characterised by extensive generation of pyroclastic density currents, with fallout deposits very subordinate and limited to the volcano slopes. Assessed bulk erupted volumes are 21×106 m3 for the opening phase, 1.3– 1.5 km3 for the main Plinian phase and about 1 km3 for the final phreatomagmatic phase, yielding a total volume of about 2.5 km3. Pumice fragments are porphyritic with sanidine and clinopyroxene as the main mineral phases but also contain peculiar mineral phases like scapolite, nepheline and garnet. Bulk composition varies from phonolite (white magma) to tephri-phonolite (grey magma).
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