What did happen West of peninsular Italy during the Neogene? Volcanic activity in Sardinia, Tyrrhenian Sea, Sicily and Sicily Channel.
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, P.le A. Moro, 5, 00185, Roma
ICNR - Istituto di Geologia Ambientale e Geoingegneria c/o Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, P.le A. Moro, 5, 00185, Roma
Scientific literature offers a wealth of data and reviews on the potassic to ultrapotassic Plio-Quaternary magmatism of peninsular Italy. On the other hand, the roughly coeval volcanic activity developed on the other side of the Tyrrhenian Sea has attracted much less the attention of the researchers. As an example, up to few years ago, very few data or petrological models were available for the Plio-Quaternary volcanic rocks of Sardinia, Sicily Channel islands and seamounts (e.g., Pantelleria, Linosa, Graham and Nameless seamounts, and so on), Ustica (SW Tyrrhenian Sea) and western Sicily (Mt. Etna and Hyblean Mts.), as well as the volcanic rocks flooding the Tyrrhenian Sea. Now this gap is going to be filled and different petrological and geodynamic models are available also for these volcanic districts. Here the basic features of these districts are briefly resumed. SARDINIA: After an Oligocene-Miocene (~32-15 Ma) volcanic activity with emplacement of products with “orogenic” geochemical characteristics, during upper Miocene to Quaternary, the Island of Sardinia was interested by a widespread volcanic activity. The first products [~6.6-4.4 Ma; Radiogenic Pb Volcanics (RPV) group] outcrop only in the southernmost sectors of the island (Guspini, Rio Girone and Capo Ferrato) and are represented by mildly alkaline sodic lavas (hawaiites, alkali basalts, basanites, mugearites and trachytes) with geochemical compositions akin to the average composition of the Circum-Mediterranean Anorogenic Cenozoic Igneous rocks from the circum-Mediterranean area (CiMACI Province).