Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 68–77 | Cite as

Young pumice deposits on Nisyros, Greece

  • Ellen M Limburg
  • Johan C Varekamp


The island of Nisyros (Aegean Sea) consists of a silicic volcanic sequence upon a base of mafic-andesitic hyaloclastites, lava flows, and breccias. We distinguish two young silicic eruptive cycles each consisting of an explosive phase followed by effusions, and an older silicic complex with major pyroclastic deposits. The caldera that formed after the last plinian eruption is partially filled with dacitic domes. Each of the two youngest plinian pumice falls has an approximate DRE volume of 2–3 km3 and calculated eruption column heights of about 15–20 km. The youngest pumice unit is a fall-surge-flow-surge sequence. Laterally transitional fall and surge facies, as well as distinct polymodal grainsize distributions in the basal fall layer, indicate coeval deposition from a maintained plume and surges. Planar-bedded pumice units on top of the fall layer were deposited from high-energy, dry-steam propelled surges and grade laterally into cross-bedded, finegrained surge deposits. The change from a fall-to a surge/flow-dominated depositional regime coincided with a trend from low-temperature argillitic lithics to high-temperature, epidote-and diopside-bearing lithic clasts, indicating the break-up of a high-temperature geothermal reservoir after the plinian phase. The transition from a maintained plume to a surge/ash flow depositional regime occurred most likely during break-up of the high-temperature geothermal reservoir during chaotic caldera collapse. The upper surge units were possibly erupted through the newly formed ringfracture.


Breccia Eruption Column Lithic Clast Plinian Eruption Caldera Collapse 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen M Limburg
    • 1
  • Johan C Varekamp
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Enviromental SciencesWesleyan UniversityMiddletownUSA

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