Volcanism in the Mediterranean: A comprehensive view

March 9, 2007

A new compilation of research illuminates one of Earth's most geologically active areas, where Vesuvius, Etna, and the Eolian and Aegean arcs threaten highly populated regions including the cities of Naples and Catania.

Cenozoic Volcanism in the Mediterranean Area, published by the Geological Society of America, gathers into a single volume a comprehensive collection of data, models, theories, and reviews. The result is a broad assessment of volcanism where Earth's large Eurasian and African tectonic plates collide.

Two major themes of the book are the nature of Earth's mantle where magmas form and geodynamic processes that trigger partial melting. Papers address both intraplate and subduction-related magma generation. Also examined are geochemical fluxes among reservoirs associated with lithospheric mantle, underlying convective mantle, and subducted slabs. Seismic tomography studies explore the possible involvement of mantle plumes in magma generation.

According to co-editor Luigi Beccaluva, Università de Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy, inspiration for the book sprang from a session at the 32nd International Geological Congress held in Florence in August 2004. "At the meeting, near-consensus was reached on a long-standing controversy regarding origins of the Roman magmatic province and on geodynamic complexity of the numerous subduction systems in the area," said Beccaluva. "We knew it was time for a milestone publication for researchers."

Source: Geological Society of America

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