The Agnano-Monte Spina eruption (4100 years BP) in the restless Campi Flegrei caldera (Italy)

S. De Vita, G. Orsi, L. Civetta, A. Carandente, M. D'Antonio, A. Deino, T. Di Cesare, M. A. Di Vito, R. V. Fisher, R. Isaia, E. Marotta, A. Necco, M. Ort, L. Pappalardo, M. Piochi, J. Southon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Scopus citations


The Agnano-Monte Spina tephra (AMST), dated at 4100 years BP by 40Ar/39Ar and 14C AMS techniques, is the product of the highest-magnitude eruption in the Campi Flegrei caldera (CFc) during its last epoch of activity (4800-3800 years BP). The sequence alternates magmatic and phreatomagmatic pyroclastic-fallout, -flow and -surge beds and bedsets. Two main pumice-fallout deposits with variable easterly-to-northeasterly dispersal axes are about 10 cm thick at 42 km from the vent area. High particle concentration pyroclastic currents were confined to the caldera depression; lower concentration flows overtopped the morphological boundary of the caldera and traveled at least 15 km over the surrounding plain. The unit is subdivided into six members, named A through F in stratigraphic sequence, based upon their sedimentological characteristics. Isopachs and isopleths maps suggest a vent location in the Agnano plain. A volcano-tectonic collapse begun during the course of the eruption, took place along the faults of the northeastern sector of the resurgent block within the CFc, and generated the Agnano plain. The early erupted trachytic magma had a homogeneous alkali-trachytic composition, whereas later-erupted magma shows small-scale heterogeneities. Trace elements and Sr-isotope compositions, indicate that two isotopically distinct magmas, one alkali-trachytic and the other trachytic, were tapped and partially mixed during the eruption. The small volume (1.2 km3 DRE) of erupted magma and the structural position of the vent suggest that the eruption was fed by a dyke intruded along a normal fault in the sector of the resurgent block under a tensional stress regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-301
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - Aug 1999


  • Agnano-Monte Spina tephra
  • Campi Flegrei caldera
  • Magma
  • Pumice
  • Pyroclastic-fallout

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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