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Authors: Caron, B.* 
Siani, G.* 
Sulpizio, R.* 
Zanchetta, G.* 
Paterne, M.* 
Santacroce, R.* 
Tema, E.* 
Zanella, E.* 
Title: Late Pleistocene to Holocene tephrostratigraphic record from the Northern Ionian Sea
Issue Date: 15-May-2012
Series/Report no.: /311-314(2012)
DOI: 10.1016/j.margeo.2012.04.001
Keywords: tephrochronology
Ionian Sea
Monte Pilato
Monte Guardia
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.01. General::03.01.99. General or miscellaneous 
03. Hydrosphere::03.01. General::03.01.06. Paleoceanography and paleoclimatology 
Abstract: A detailed tephrostratigraphic study supported by stable isotope (δ18O) analyses and AMS 14C dating was carried out on a high sedimentation rate deep-sea core recovered in the northern Ionian Sea. Eight tephra layers were recognised, all originated from explosive eruptions of southern Italian volcanoes. These tephra layers are correlated with terrestrial proximal counterparts and with both marine and lacustrine tephra already known in the central Mediterranean area. The oldest tephra (dated at ca. 19.4 ka cal BP) is tentatively correlated to the Monte Guardia eruption from Lipari Island. Two other rhyolitic tephra layers were correlated with the explosive volcanic activity of Lipari Island: Gabellotto-Fiumebianco/E-1 (8.3 ka cal BP) located close to the interruption of Sapropel S1 deposit, and Monte Pilato (ca. AD 1335) in the uppermost part of the core. The Na-phonolitic composition of the other five recognised tephra layers indicates the Somma-Vesuvius as the source. The composition is quite homogeneous among the five tephra layers, and fits that of the Mercato proximal deposits. Beyond the striking chemical similarity with the Mercato eruption, these tephra layers span over ca. 2000 years, preventing correlation with the single well known Plinian eruption of the Somma-Vesuvius. Therefore, at least two of these tephra layers were assigned to an interplinian activity of the Somma-Vesuvius between the eruptions of Mercato and Avellino, even though these eruptions remains poorly constrained in the proximal area. By contrast, the most prominent tephra layer (2 mm white tephra visible at naked eyes) was found within the S1a Sapropel interval. Despite the possible complication for the presence of similar eruption with different ages we argue that Mercato is probably a very good marker for the onset of sapropelic condition in the Ionian Sea and can be used for land-sea correlations for this important climatic event. More in general, these data allow a significant update of the knowledge of the volcanic ash dispersal from Lipari and Somma-Vesuvius volcanoes.
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