Distal tephra from Campanian eruptions in early Late Holocene fills of the Agro Pontino graben and Fondi basin (Southern Lazio, Italy)

Sevink, J., van Gorp, W., Di Vito, M. A. & Arienzo, I., 1-Nov-2020, In : Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 405, 17 p., 107041.

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Following on the discovery (in 2011) of a layer of distal tephra from the Pomici di Avellino eruption (Somma-Vesuvius, EU5) in the Agro Pontino (southern Lazio, Italy), further detailed study of the Holocene sediment archives in this graben and in the nearby Fondi coastal basin showed that distal tephra from this EU5 eruption occurs as a rather continuous, conspicuous layer. Two other, less conspicuous tephra layers were found, identified as the earlier Astroni 6 eruption from the Campi Flegrei (Fondi basin) and the later AP2 eruption of the Somma-Vesuvius (Agro Pontino). The identification of the distal tephra layers rests upon a combination of criteria, including stratigraphy, macro characteristics, mineralogy, geochemical data on glass composition, Sr-isotopic ratios, and the known tephrochronology for the period concerned, i.e. between c. 2500 and 1000 BCE. 14C datings serve to constrain their age. No significant spatial variation in the characteristics of the main tephra layer (EU5) was observed, other than distinct fining with increasing distance from the vent. Based on a detailed palaeogeographical reconstruction, the occurrence and preservation of these tephra are explained by the local environmental conditions governing their preservation during this time span (the Central Italian Bronze Age), and by the later evolution of the area. The observations underpin that multiple corings are needed to fully assess whether sedimentary hiatuses exist in palaeorecords, based on cores from sediment archives. Lastly, our study shows that hazard evaluations for future eruptions by Campanian volcanoes should pay more attention to their potential impacts on distal areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107041
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Publication statusPublished - 1-Nov-2020


  • Central Italy, Distal tephra, Early Late Holocene, Geochemistry, Radiocarbon dating, Tephrochronology

ID: 134255668