Salina, Isole Eolie, Italy

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Monte dei Porri, Salina

Monte dei Porri and Val di Chiesa, Salina

Salina island, Isole Eolie, Italy

volcano number: none (not Holocene, therefore not catalogued in Volcanoes of the World)

summit elevation: 962 m

location: 38.635°N, 014.877°E

southwestern view

Photo above: Salina, the second largest of the Isole Eolie, is seen here from the southwest, from the aliscafo (hydrofoil) connecting Lipari with Filicudi/Alicudi. The notably regular peak in the center is Monte dei Porri (860 m), superseded in height by Monte Fossa delle Felci (962 m) to the right: this is the highest mountain of the archipelago. On the left-hand slope of Monte dei Porri there is the vast amphitheater-shaped crater of Pollara, site of a violent very late Quaternary eruption (maybe 13,000 BP). The western (left) half of this crater lies below the sea. One of the most suggestive places in the Eolie, Pollara has its most amazing spot in Punta Perciato (see below), an impressive natural arc that forms the westernmost tip of the island and is well visible in the enlarged version of this image. Distant neighbor, Stromboli island lies on left margin of the photograph. Photo taken 30 August 1994.

Geological map

Simpified geological map of Salina, from Barca & Ventura (1993).

View from southeast

Another image of Salina, this time viewed from the southeast. Monte Fossa delle Felci is the cone with its top in the clouds, and Monte dei Porri to the left. The much older volcanic edifice of Monte Rivi lies on the northern (right) flank of Monte Fossa delle Felci. Town of S. Marina di Salina lies on right side of the island while Rinella forms the cluster of white houses on the near flank of Monte dei Porri. Photo taken 30 August 1994.

Monte dei Porri

View of the youthfully regular cone of Monte dei Porri (860 m) from the summit of Monte Fossa delle Felci, on 2 October 1995. The two volcanoes are separated by the Val di Chiesa ("Valley of the Church"; the 17th century church is visible in right part of the valley) which is occupied in its southern part by the village of Leni, and its sea port Rinella. Note the dog ("Odie") in the lower part of the photo; this dog accompanied us from the beginning of the climb at Santa Marina di Salina, to the summit of Monte Fossa delle Felci, and then back down to Malfa.

Gray Porri Tuff

The initial activity of Monte dei Porri was exceptionally violent. Surges from its first eruptive vent, probably situated at about sea-level, rushed up and overtopped Monte Fossa delle Felci, more than 900 m above the vent! The surge deposits, known as the Gray Porri Tuffs (Lanzafame et al. 1987), are visible here overlying a soil horizon that had developed upon the youngest pre-Porri products of Fossa delle Felci, about 100 ka ago. Giada Giuntoli (left) and Steve Malone (right) from University of Washington serve as scale. Photo taken on 2 October 1995.

Pollara from northwest

Created by a series of cataclysmic eruptions about 13,000 BP, the crater of Pollara yawns in the NW flank of Monte dei Porri (in the background). The western half of the crater has dropped below the sea level along a fault which forms the conspicuous stratified cliff visible in the center; the strata are re-deposited Pollara tephra that accumulated on the crater floor before the faulting. Photo taken 26 September 1995.

Punta Perciato

Extreme NW tip of Salina, Punta di Perciato is formed by this beautiful natural arc cut into the mafic lavas of the initial Pollara activity. The products of the later ignimbrite eruptions (the yellow tuffs visible at right) are perched unconformably on these early lavas. View is to the N, taken on 26 September 1995.

Pollara from north

Another view (mosaic of two photos) of Pollara, here from the northern crater rim near the abandoned Semaforo di Pollara, on 27 August 1994. Monte dei Porri lies to the left.

Pollara pyroclastic flows

Beautifully sculptured pyroclastic flow deposits from the Pollara eruption. Such outcrops are abundant along the extremely scenic road from Melfi to Pollara. The deposits contain abundant lithic blocks, derived from Pollara lava flows emplaced before the cataclysmic explosions which were blasted away during the climactic eruptions. The patterns visible in the outcrop surface are effects of erosion. Photo taken on 26 September 1995.


Barca D and Ventura G (1993) Evoluzione vulcano-tettonica dell'isola di Salina (Arcipelago delle Eolie). Memorie della Società Geologica Italiana vol 47: 401-415

Calanchi N, De Rosa R, Mazzuoli R, Rossi P, Santacroce R and Ventura G (1993) Silicic magma entering a basaltic magma chamber: eruptive dynamics and magma mixing - an example from Salina (Aeolian Islands, Southern Tyrrhenian Sea). Bulletin of Volcanology vol 55: 504-522

Keller J (1980) The island of Salina. Rendiconti della Società Italiana die Mineralogia e Petrologia vol 36: 489-524

Lanzafame G, Ricci Lucchi F and Rossi PL (1987) Evidence of surges overtopping a large topographic barrier: Salina island, Aeolian Archipelago, Italy. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research vol 32: 355-361

Mazzuoli R, Tortorici L and Ventura G (1995) Oblique rifting in Salina, Lipari and Vulcano islands (Aeolian islands, southern Italy). Terra Nova vol 7: 444-452

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