Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 70, Issue 10, pp 1221–1236 | Cite as

The Holocene Secche di Lazzaro phreatomagmatic succession (Stromboli, Italy): evidence of pyroclastic density current origin deduced by facies analysis and AMS flow directions

  • Guido GiordanoEmail author
  • Massimiliano Porreca
  • Pietro Musacchio
  • Massimo Mattei
Research Article


The edifice of Stromboli volcano gravitationally collapsed several times during its volcanic history (>100 ka–present). The largest Holocene event occurred during the final stage of the Neostromboli activity (∼13–5 ka), and was accompanied by the emplacement of phreatomagmatic and lahar deposits, known as the Secche di Lazzaro succession. A stratigraphic and paleomagnetic study of the Secche di Lazzaro deposits allows the interpretation of the emplacement and the eruptive processes. We identify three main units within the succession that correspond to changing eruption conditions. The lower unit (UA) consists of accretionary lapilli-rich, thinly bedded, parallel- to cross-stratified ash deposits, interpreted to indicate the early stages of the eruption and emplacement of dilute pyroclastic density currents. Upward, the second unit (UB) of the deposit is more massive and the beds thicker, indicating an increase in the sedimentation rate from pyroclastic density currents. The upper unit (UC) caps the succession with thick, immediately post-eruptive lahars, which reworked ash deposited on the volcano’s slope. Flow directions obtained by Anisotropy of Magnetic Susceptibility (AMS) analysis of the basal bed of UA at the type locality suggest a provenance of pyroclastic currents from the sea. This is interpreted to be related to the initial base-surges associated with water–magma interaction that occurred immediately after the lateral collapse, which wrapped around the shoulder of the sector collapse scar. Upward in the stratigraphy (upper beds of UA and UB) paleoflow directions change and show a provenance from the summit vent, probably related to the multiple collapses of a vertical, pulsatory eruptive column.


Stromboli volcano Lateral sector collapse Phreatomagmatism Magnetic fabric Pyroclastic density current Lahar 



We thank the people of the ETH Paleomagnetic laboratory at Zurich for the High-field magnetic measurements. V. Lorenz, M. Ort and M. Clynne are gratefully acknowledged for providing important comments which considerably improved the final version. We also thank G. Volontè and A. Melchionna for “invaluable” field assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guido Giordano
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Massimiliano Porreca
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pietro Musacchio
    • 1
    • 2
  • Massimo Mattei
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento Scienze GeologicheUniversità Roma TreRomeItaly
  2. 2.RomaItalia

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