Bulletin of Volcanology

, 81:67 | Cite as

Time-dependent Sr and Nd isotope variations during the evolution of the ultrapotassic Sabatini Volcanic District (Roman province, Central Italy)

  • Gianluca SottiliEmail author
  • Ilenia Arienzo
  • Francesca Castorina
  • Mario Gaeta
  • Biagio Giaccio
  • Fabrizio Marra
  • Danilo M. Palladino
Research Article


The Sabatini Volcanic District (SVD), active between 0.8 and 0.07 Ma, is a volcanic field in the Roman province (Central Italy) located along the Tyrrhenian margin of the Italian peninsula. In this volcanic region, high-K magmas originated from a metasomatised phlogopite-bearing peridotite mantle recording subduction-related fluids and/or melting processes. Here, we investigate magma evolution during the six main eruptive phases of the SVD by means of chemical and isotopic (Sr and Nd) analyses. Specifically, we analyzed clinopyroxene crystals from juvenile pumice and scoria clasts and lavas, from 40 major SVD eruptive units chronologically well constrained by 40Ar/39Ar dating. 87Sr/86Sr and 144Nd/143Nd ratios in SVD clinopyroxene range 0.7095–0.7115 and 0.51210-0.51214, respectively. The mean Sr and Nd isotope compositions of each eruptive phases show a gradual, long-term decrease over the entire SVD eruptive history. However, when considering the distinct temporal windows of the individual eruptive phases, a significant variability of the Sr-Nd isotope ratios emerges, thus highlighting a more complex, time-dependent geochemical trend for the erupted magmas, with respect to a previously described trend at the nearby Colli Albani Volcanic District (0.6–0.04 Ma). Geochemical features of clinopyroxene in lavas and juvenile pyroclasts suggest that magma differentiation occurred in an open system due to assimilation of siliciclastic sedimentary rocks. Moreover, a critical review of the available geochemical data, in light of 40Ar/39Ar ages, allows the recognition of the SVD as the source of widespread tephra markers recorded in the central Mediterranean area by previous works.


Sabatini Volcanic District Roman province Sr and Nd isotopes 



We thank Andrea Marzoli and an anonymous reviewer for the helpful comments and the Associate Editor, Steve Self, and the Executive Editor, Andrew Harris, for the additional precious suggestions. The authors kindly thank Sonia Tonarini for her assistance in the Mass Spectrometry Laboratory of the Istituto Geoscienze e Georisorse-CNR, Pisa, Italy.

Funding information

This research was partly funded by the project “Microtextural, petrological and geochemical analyses on pyroclastic products from the volcanic districts of the Colli Albani and the Sabatini Volcanic District aimed at developing predictive models of volcanic hazard” (responsible Gianluca Sottili), funded by Sapienza-Università di Roma (Year 2017).

Supplementary material

445_2019_1324_MOESM1_ESM.doc (105 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 105 kb)
445_2019_1324_MOESM2_ESM.xls (60 kb)
ESM 2 (XLS 60 kb)
445_2019_1324_MOESM3_ESM.doc (72 kb)
ESM 3 (DOC 72 kb)


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© International Association of Volcanology & Chemistry of the Earth's Interior 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze della TerraSapienza-Università di RomaRomeItaly
  2. 2.Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e VulcanologiaOsservatorio VesuvianoNaplesItaly
  3. 3.Istituto di Geologia Ambientale e Geoingegneria (IGAG)-CNR, c/o Dipartimento di Scienze della TerraSapienza-Università di RomaRomeItaly
  4. 4.Istituto di Geologia Ambientale e Geoingegneria (IGAG)-CNRRomeItaly
  5. 5.Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione Sismologia e TettonofisicaRomeItaly

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