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Authors: Bertagnini, A.* 
Di Roberto, A.* 
Pompilio, M.* 
Title: Paroxysmal activity at Stromboli: lessons from the past
Issue Date: Nov-2011
Series/Report no.: 9/73(2011)
DOI: 10.1007/s00445-011-0470-3
Keywords: Stromboli
Basaltic explosive volcanism
Volcanic hazard
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.10. Stratigraphy 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.08. Volcanic risk 
Abstract: The persistent normal activity of Stromboli is occasionally interrupted by sudden and highly energetic explosive events called Strombolian paroxysms. These phenomena together with landslide-generated tsunamis represent the most hazardous manifestations of present-day volcanic activity at Stromboli. The most recent paroxysms, on 5 April 2003 and 15 March 2007, have drawn attention to these energetic events because they significantly threatened inhabitants and tourists. Historical accounts and field evidence indicate, however, that even larger paroxysms, in terms of volume, dispersal of products and intensity of explosive phenomena, occurred in the recent past. During these paroxysms incipiently welded spatter deposits mantled the north and south rims of the Sciara del Fuoco down to low elevations, extending much farther than the similar deposits from recent observed events (5 April 2003 and 15 March 2007). In order to identify, characterize and discriminate among products of these outstanding spatter-forming eruptions, more than 50 stratigraphic sections were measured and sampled. Stratigraphic, sedimentological and radiometric (14C) data indicate that only two paroxysms produced spatter that reached very low elevations and inhabited areas: the first occurred in the 16th century and the last in AD 1930. Analysis of texture and deposit components reveals that the early phases of the two eruptions were driven by distinctly different eruptive dynamics. Both identified paroxysms are at least one order of magnitude greater than any similar event observed by monitoring systems at Stromboli. These two large paroxysms were the most powerful volcanic events at Stromboli in the last eighteen centuries.
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