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Authors: Calvari, S.* 
Tanner, L. H.* 
Title: The Miocene Costa Giardini diatreme, Iblean Mountains, southern Italy: Model for maar-diatreme formation on a submerged carbonate platform
Journal: Bulletin of Volcanology 
Series/Report no.: /73 (2011)
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: Jul-2011
DOI: 10.1007/s00445-010-0436-x
Keywords: Iblean Mountains
explosive eruptions
shallow water environment
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.05. Volcanic rocks 
Abstract: In this paper we present a model for the growth of a maar-diatreme complex in a shallow marine environment. The Miocene-age Costa Giardini diatreme near Sortino, in the region of the Iblei Mountains of southern Sicily, has an outer tuff ring formed by the accumulation of debris flows and surge deposits during hydromagmatic eruptions. Vesicular lava clasts, accretionary lapilli and bombs in the older ejecta indicate that initial eruptions were of gas-rich magma. Abundant xenoliths in the upper, late-deposited beds of the ring suggest rapid magma ascent, and deepening of the eruptive vent is shown by the change in slope of the country rock. The interior of the diatreme contains nonbedded breccia composed of both volcanic and country rock clasts of variable size and amount. The occurrence of bedded hyaloclastite breccia in an isolated outcrop in the middle-lower part of the diatreme suggests subaqueous effusion at a low rate following the end of explosive activity. Intrusions of nonvesicular magma, forming plugs and dikes, occur on the western side of the diatreme, and at the margins, close to the contact between breccia deposits and country rock; they indicate involvement of volatile-poor magma, possibly during late stages of activity. We propose that initial hydromagmatic explosive activity occurred in a shallow marine environment and the ejecta created a rampart that isolated for a short time the inner crater from the surrounding marine environment. This allowed explosive activity to draw down the water table in the vicinity of the vent and caused deepening of the explosive center. A subsequent decrease in the effusion rate and cessation of explosive eruptions allowed the crater to refill with water, at which time the hyaloclastite was deposited. Emplacement of dikes and plugs occurred nonexplosively while the breccia sediment was mostly still soft and unconsolidated, locally forming peperites. The sheltered, low-energy lagoon filled with marine limestones mixed with volcaniclastic material eroded from the surrounding ramparts. Ultimately, lagoonal sediments accumulated in the crater until subsidence or erosion of the tuff ring caused a return to normal shallow marine conditions.
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