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Paleomagnetism applied to volcanology

Paleomagnetismo applicato alla vulcanologia



ERC Sectors

PE10_5 - Geology, tectonics, volcanology
PE10_15 - Geomagnetism, paleomagnetism


This research is subdivided into more applications, all addressed to better define the emplacement mechanisms of volcanic products, providing physical parameters useful for eruptive scenarios modelling.

The first application concerns the emplacement temperature estimate of the pyroclastic deposits from recent eruptions, by thermal demagnetization of both lava fragments and archaeological artefacts embedded during pyroclastic flow.

The second application deals with the study of the magnetic fabric of volcanites. In the pyroclastic deposit, magnetic fabric provides flow direction indications, which can be used to locate the eruptive vent and to evaluate the paleotopographic effect and anthropic structures on the emplacement (fig. 1). In the lava flow, it is possible to reconstruct the processes during the lava emplacement and the subsequent deformative events.

The last application is classical in paleomagnetism and it consists on the determination of the paleomagnetic directions recorded by volcanic products during their emplacement. These directions may be used to construct paleosecular variation curves of the past geomagnetic field in a certain geographical area, which can be then used as a tool for temporal correlations.


Image n. 1

Fig. 1 Direction of flow determined by the analysis of the magnetic fabric in the archaeological excavations of Pompeii (modified by Gurioli et al., 2007)

Dr. Mauro Di Vito, INGV, Osservatorio Vesuviano, Napoli

Dr. Lucia Gurioli e Dr. Andrew Harri, Laboratoire Magma et Volcans, Université de Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand (France) 

Dr. Michael Ort, Northern Arizona University, USA

Dr. Roberto Sulpizio, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e Geoambientali, Università di Bari


Agrò A., Zanella E., Le Pennec J.C., Temel A., 2017. Complex remanent magnetization in the Kızılkaya Ignimbrite (Central Anatolia): implication for paleomagnetic directions. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 336, 68-80, doi:10.1016/j.volgeores.2017.02.007

Airoldi G., Muirhead J.D., Long S.M., Zanella E., White J.D.L., 2016. Flow dynamics in mid-Jurassic dikes and sills of the Ferrar large igneous province and implications for long-distance magma transport. Tectonophysics, 683, 182-199, doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2016.06.029

Di Vito M., Zanella E., Gurioli L., Lanza R., Sulpizio R., Bishop J., Tema E., Boenzi G., Laforgia E., 2009. The Afragola settlement near Vesuvius, Italy: The destruction and abandonment of a Bronze Age village revealed by archaeology, volcanology and rock magnetism. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2008.11.006

Giordano G., Zanella E., Trolese M., Baffioni C., Vona A., Caricchi C., De Benedetti A.A., Corrado S., Romano C., Sulpizio R., Geshi N., 2018. Thermal interactions of the AD79 Vesuvius pyroclastic density currents and their deposits at Villa dei Papiri (Herculaneum archaeological site, Italy). Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 490, 180-192, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2018.03.023

Tema E., Zanella E., Pavón-Carrasco F. J., Kondopoulou D., Pavlides S., 2015. Palaeomagnetic analysis on pottery as indicator for the pyroclastic flows deposit temperature: New data and statistical interpretation from the Minoan eruption of Santorini, Greece. Geophysical International Journal, 203, 33-47, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv267.



Tag: paleomagnetism, magnetic fabric, volcanites

Last update: 14/04/2021 21:10
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