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    You are here:HomeItaly: an Encyclopedia of Quaternary SciencesActive volcanoes

    Active volcanoes


    Hot topics in Italian Quaternary Research


    Active volcanoesActive volcanoes are the geological landmarks of Central and Southern Italy. They are of paramount importance in volcanology: Vulcano, Stromboli and Vesuvius are the reference-locality of the “Vulcanian”, “Strombolian” and “Plinian” type of eruption, respectively.

    In this region emplaced the Etna volcano, the largest active volcano in Europe, as well as several submarine volcanoes like the Marsili.

    Volcanic activity has punctuated the recent geological history of Italy, with magmatic provinces having very diverse petrology and chronology, such as Tuscany (14–0.2 Ma), Roma and Umbria (0.6–0.02 Ma), Campania (0.8 Ma to present), Aeolian arc (1 Ma to present), Sicily (7.5 Ma to present), Sardinia (5.3-0.1 Ma), and the Tyrrhenian Sea floor (7 Ma to present).

    Explosive events have been producing tephra deposits with specific compositional characteristics, which allow for long-range chronostratigraphic correlations.

    Recent development in the analysis of Italian tephra, such as total grain-size distribution, indicates that these deposits may represent a primary key for characterizing past and present eruptions and estimating the associated hazard.