International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 99, Issue 8, pp 1917–1940 | Cite as

Iblean diatremes 2: shallow marine volcanism in the Central Mediterranean at the onset of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (Iblean Mountains, SE-Sicily)—a multidisciplinary approach

  • Ines Suiting
  • Hans-Ulrich Schmincke
Original Paper


A multidisciplinary analysis of intraplate volcanic complexes interbedded with shallow and deeper marine sediments of a Late Miocene carbonate platform (Iblean Plateau, Sicily) has allowed a detailed paleo-environmental reconstruction. Our approach includes sedimentology, physical volcanology, stratigraphy, geochemistry/mineralogy, paleontology and 40Ar/39Ar dating. Four volcanic complexes are distinguished from each other. Two comprise an eastern shallow water platform (diatreme field and Carlentini complex) and two a western deeper water environment representing a seamount belt on the carbonate ramp (Valle Guffari seamount and Mineo complex). The late Miocene volcanism was not time-equivalent: episodic eruptions took place from the Late Tortonian (ca. 9.38 Ma at Mt. Carrubba) to Early Messinian (ca. 6.46 Ma at Valle Guffari). Explosive volcanism of the diatreme field may be related geodynamically to the period of periodic sea-level oscillations at the onset of the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Marine diatomites preserved in the crater areas of two diatremes are the only remnants of Early Messinian diatomites in the eastern Iblean Mountains.


Iblean Mountains Shallow marine Diatremes Neogene Messinian Salinity Crisis Lithostratigraphy 



Our study was supported by a grant from the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft” to HUS (Schm 250/79-1 and 81-1, 2). The study represents part of the fulfillment of the Ph.D. of IS. Mario Grasso aided our work in many ways in the field and provided crucial logistic support. Rosanna Maniscalco, Juliane Fenner and Thomas Jurkschat kindly provided micropaleontological data. We appreciate the very constructive comments of Robert W.H. Butler and one anonymous reviewer.

Supplementary material

531_2009_495_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (152 kb)
Supplementary Appendix A (PDF 152 kb)
531_2009_495_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (90 kb)
Supplementary Appendix B (PDF 91 kb)
531_2009_495_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (101 kb)
Supplementary Appendix C (PDF 102 kb)
531_2009_495_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (322 kb)
Supplementary Appendix D (PDF 323 kb)
531_2009_495_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (125 kb)
Supplementary Appendix E (PDF 126 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leibniz-Institut für Meereswissenschaften an der Universität Kiel (IFM-GEOMAR)KielGermany

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