Central Mediterranean tephrochronology for the time interval 250-315 ka derived from the Fucino sediment succession

Niklas Leicher, Lorenzo Monaco, Biagio Giaccio, Sebastien Nomade, Alison Pereira, Giorgio Mannella, Sabine Wulf, Gianluca Sottili, Danilo M. Palladino, Giovanni Zanchetta, Bernd Wagner

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In the lacustrine succession F4-F5 of the Fucino Basin, central Italy, twenty visible tephra layers were identified in the time-interval 250-315 ka (Marine Isotope Stages 8-9). Fifteen of them contained suitable material to explore their volcanic sources. Among these tephra some well-known eruptions and eruptive sequences of the Roman and Roccamonfina volcanoes were identified, such as the Tufo Giallo di Sacrofano and the Lower White Trachytic Tuff, respectively.
Furthermore, the sediment succession documents a more complex eruptive history of the Sabatini, Vulsini, Colli Albani and Roccamonfina volcanic complexes during the investigated period, as inferred from previously undescribed tephra deposits. Single-crystal-fusion 40Ar/39Ar dating of two of the inspected tephra layers combined with two already published tephra ages provided the basis for a Bayesian age-depth model. The modelled tephra ages allow chronological constraining of so far undefined eruptions of the Sabatini (272.5±4.7 ka, 281.8±4.7 ka, 308.5±2.8 ka, 312.8±2.1 ka), the Vulsini (311.7±2.3 ka, 311.9±2.3 ka) and the Colli Albani (301.0±3.6 ka) volcanic districts. Two tephra layers of an undefined volcanic source from the Roman volcanoes have modelled ages of 309.5±2.7 ka and 310.5±2.6 ka. The new 40Ar/39Ar and modelled ages were further used for a reassessment of the timing of already known and dated eruptive units, such as the Tufo Giallo di Sacrofano (40Ar/39Ar: 289.3±4.8 ka). Tephra tentatively correlated with the Valle Santa Maria, Case Pisello and the White Trachytic Tuff Unit E3 or Unit F offer modelled ages for these eruptions
at the 296.6±3.9 ka, 301.8±3.5 ka and 303.6±3.4 ka, respectively. The results complete the tephrostratigraphic investigations of the c. 425 ka old F4-F5 record, extend the Mediterranean tephrostratigraphic framework and provide a significant contribution for improving knowledge on the Italian volcanic explosive activity.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Early online date17 Oct 2023
Publication statusEarly online - 17 Oct 2023

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