Bulletin of Volcanology

, 81:17 | Cite as

The Graham and Terrible volcanic province (NW Sicilian Channel): gravimetric constraints for the magmatic manifestations

  • Emanuele LodoloEmail author
  • L. Zampa
  • D. Civile
Research Article


A few kilometres off the SW coast of Sicily lie the shallow banks of Graham, Terrible and Nerita. These morphological reliefs are affected by two lithospheric scale, N–S trending tectonic lineaments known as Capo Granitola to the west and Sciacca to the east. Within the Graham and Terrible banks, several volcanic edifices have been documented and mapped using high-resolution bathymetry and seismic profiles. Three groups of volcanic features can be distinguished: (i) a cluster of N–S aligned volcanic cones in the Graham Bank, generally developed along the Capo Granitola fault, (ii) a series of poorly developed volcanic constructs roughly positioned along the northern edge of the Terrible Bank, and (iii) a few isolated volcanic centres located north of the Terrible Bank, within an undeformed zone. Here we present a 2-D gravimetric model, constrained at shallow levels by an integrated seismic dataset, which we use to interpret the distribution of magmatic manifestations in this sector of the Sicilian Channel. At the Graham Bank, where there are no significant positive gravity anomalies, the magmatic material seem to migrate to the surface along the Capo Granitola lithospheric fault, without the presence of a shallow magma source. In the Terrible Bank, where there is a well-defined positive gravity anomaly, the model implies the presence of a shallow magma chamber from which sea-floor volcanic constructs are fed upwards along cracks. The origin for the volcanic cones located between the two fault systems is more problematic, as no significant structural discontinuities were identified in this area from the available seismic data. However, the presence of a potential wide sill complex suggests that it facilitated lateral magma flow from source to surface over lateral distances of tens of kilometres.


Sicilian Channel Graham and Terrible banks Volcanic manifestations Seismic data Gravity model 



All seismic data used are publicly available, either via the references cited in the Supporting Information file or directly from the first author. Seismic profiles used to draw Fig. 1b have been uploaded and interpreted using the Kingdom Suite© package. Comments and suggestions by the Associated Editor Sylvie Vergniolle, the Executive Editor Andrew Harris, William Chadwick and an anonymous reviewer have contributed to significantly improve this manuscript.

Funding information

Funds for this study have been partly provided by the “Progetto Premiale” FASMIT, funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR).

Supplementary material

445_2019_1274_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 1057 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Association of Volcanology & Chemistry of the Earth's Interior 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS)TriesteItaly

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