The island of Pantelleria (Sicilian: Pantiddirìa) is a Quaternary volcano in the Sicily Channel. The island lies at the approximate location of 12°00E, 36°45N 110 km SW of Sicily and 70km E of Tunisia. It is administratively part of Italy, within the province of Trapani. Geologically, Pantelleria is the type locality for pantellerite, a type of peralkaline rhyolite rich in halogens. Cossyrite, an alternative name for the mineral aenigmatite which is common in pantellerite, also derives from the ancient name for Pantellieria: Cossyra.
Pantelleria is located in the Strait of Sicily Rift Zone in the central Mediterranean in the foreland of the Maghrebian-Apennine orogenic system. Detailed studies of the geology of the island, which can bedivided into basaltic northwestern and trachytic-pantelleritic southeastern sections by the SE-dipping Zighidi fault, have been carried out by Cornette et al. (1983), Mahood & Hildreth (1983, 1986), Civetta et al. (1988; 1998) and White et al. (2005; 2009).
The southeastern section of the island is dominated by two nested calderas: The Cinque Denti Caldera dated at 45ka, thought to have formed during the eruption of the Green Tuff, and the La Veccia Caldera dated at 114ka, suggesting that the more recent, post 100 ka, history consists of small eruptions punctuated with catastrophic caldera-forming events. The most recent volcanic activity at Pantelleria was in 1891 at a submarine volcano 4 km northwest of Pantelleria Town. Basaltic eruptions have been frequent since 10 ka. Phases of silicic activity have occurred every few thousand years since the Green Tuff eruption at 45 ka. The last large known eruption occurred at Cuddia Randazzo at 5.5 ka (Mahood & Hildreth, 1986). The unusual and variable geochemical composition of pantellerite enables eruption styles which would not usually be observed in evolved, silicic compositions. For example, low viscosity pantellerite magma may erupt to form spatter cones which can agglutinate to form lava flows.
CVG Research on Pantelleria:
CVG research on Pantelleria has focussed mantle melting, magma differentiation and volatile degassing. Discussion of models of pantellerite petrogenesis, as well an evaluation of likely volatile budgets from plinian eruptions, such as the Green Tuff eruption of ~45ka, also feature.
- Neave, D.A., Fabbro, G, Herd, R.A., Petrone, C.M. & Edmonds, M. (2012). Melting, Differentiation and Degassing at the Pantelleria Volcano, Italy. Journal of Petrology 53, 637-663. doi: 10.1093/petrology/egr074
Key References on Pantelleria:
- Civetta, L., Cornette, Y., Gillot, P.Y. & Orsi, G. (1988). The eruptive history of Pantelleria (Sicily Channel) in the last 50 ka. Bulletin of Volcanology 50, 4757.
- Civetta, L., D’Antonio, M., Orsi, G. & Tilton, G. R. (1998). The Geochemistry of volcanic rocks from Pantelleria island, Sicily channel: Petrogenesis and characteristics of the mantle source region. Journal of Petrology 39, 1453-1491.
- Cornette, Y., Crisci, G.M., Gillot, P.Y. & Orsi, G. (1983). Recent volcanic history of Pantelleria: A new interpretation. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 17, 361-373.
- Mahood, G. A. & Hildreth, W. (1983). Nested calderas and trapdoor uplift at Pantelleria, Strait of Sicily. Geology 11, 722-726.
- Mahood, G. A. & Hildreth, W. (1986). Geology of the peralkaline volcano at Pantelleria, Strait of Sicily. Bulletin of Volcanology 48, 143-172.
- White, J. C., Ren, M. & Parker, D. F. (2005). Variation in mineralogy, temperature and oxygen fugacity in a suite of strongly peralkaline lavas and tuffs, Italy: Pantelleria. The Canadian Mineralogist 43, 1331-1347.
- White, J. C., Parker, D. F. & Ren, M. (2009). The origin of trachyte and pantellerite from Pantelleria, Italy: Insights from major element, trace element, and thermodynamic modelling. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 179, 33-55.