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John C. White ORCID iD icon


Physics, Geosciences, and Astronomy

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The Green Tuff Ignimbrite, Pantelleria, is compositionally zoned from pantellerite at the base to comenditic trachyte at the top, the variation apparently representing an inverted vertical zonation in the pre-eruptive reservoir. The main phenocryst assemblages are alkali feldspar + olivine + clinopyroxene + ilmenite + apatite in the trachytes and alkali feldspar + aenigmatite + clinopyroxene + quartz in the rhyolites. Thermodynamic modelling indicates that the temperature range was ~900–700°C, fO2 FMQ –1.5 to FMQ –0.5 (where FMQ is fayalite–magnetite–quartz buffer) and aSiO2 (relative to quartz saturation) 0.74–1.00. Melt water contents ranged from ~1wt % in the trachytes to ~4wt % in the pantellerites. Matrix glass analyses in the more evolved rocks are highly variable, showing that compositional layers in the upper parts of the reservoir, formed by fractional crystallization, were mixed during eruption, the proportion of rhyolitic to trachytic melts increasing towards the top of the reservoir. Some areas of glass have low Al2O3 contents (5.16–5.46 wt %) and high FeO* contents (9.66–10.02 wt %), making them the most evolved melts yet reported from Pantelleria. The new glass data reveal how whole-rock analyses do not truly reflect the complete range of melt compositions in the pre-eruptive reservoir. The trachytes contain >40% modal phenocrysts, which with relatively high Ba contents and positive Eu anomalies are considered to have originated in a feldspar-accumulitic layer. Phenocrysts in the trachytes are commonly heavily resorbed, inferred to be a result of heating by influxes of intermediate composition magma, which, however, were not erupted. It is argued that magmas of intermediate composition were present in the Green Tuff reservoir but were efficiently trapped in a crystal-rich layer below the Green Tuff magmas, which was eventually erupted during a resurgent phase as the Montagna Grande Trachyte.

Journal Title

Journal of Petrology