40Ar/39Ar dating of tuff vents in the Campi Flegrei caldera (southern Italy): toward a new chronostratigraphic reconstruction of the Holocene volcanic activity
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- Fedele, L., Insinga, D.D., Calvert, A.T. et al. Bull Volcanol (2011) 73: 1323. doi:10.1007/s00445-011-0478-8
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The Campi Flegrei hosts numerous monogenetic vents inferred to be younger than the 15 ka Neapolitan Yellow Tuff. Sanidine crystals from the three young Campi Flegrei vents of Fondi di Baia, Bacoli and Nisida were dated using 40Ar/39Ar geochronology. These vents, together with several other young edifices, occur roughly along the inner border of the Campi Flegrei caldera, suggesting that the volcanic conduits are controlled by caldera-bounding faults. Plateau ages of ∼9.6 ka (Fondi di Baia), ∼8.6 ka (Bacoli) and ∼3.9 ka (Nisida) indicate eruptive activity during intervals previously interpreted as quiescent. A critical revision, involving calendar age correction of literature 14C data and available 40Ar/39Ar age data, is presented. A new reference chronostratigraphic framework for Holocene Phlegrean activity, which significantly differs from the previously adopted ones, is proposed. This has important implications for understanding the Campi Flegrei eruptive history and, ultimately, for the evaluation of related volcanic risk and hazard, for which the inferred history of its recent activity is generally taken into account.