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Geochemistry and mineralogy of a complex sedimentary deposit in the alkaline volcanic Lake Specchio di Venere (Pantelleria Island, south Mediterranean)

Marianna Cangemi, Paolo Madonia, Sergio Speziale
  • Marianna Cangemi
    National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology - INGV, Italy
  • Sergio Speziale
    Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum, Germany


Specchio di Venere is a peculiar, ambient temperature, geothermal, alkaline lake, with lake water oversaturated in carbonate phase where siliceous stromatolites actively grow despite the undersaturation of silica phases. The most of the main sedimentary structures of this lake have been investigated in recent years, with the exception of the carbonate bank running along the south-western margin of the lake, which is the object of this study. Here we report on the mineralogical and geochemical characterisation of the carbonate bank, based on the study of two cores taken in the area mostly affected by the circulation of fluids of different origin. The ultimate results of our study suggest that silica gel deposits form inside the carbonate bank, following an Alkali-Silica Reaction. These new findings complete the general overview on the sedimentary processes acting in a Lake Specchio di Venere, whose origin is sometimes chemico-physical and sometimes strongly conditioned by microbial activity. 


Alkaline geothermal lake; sediment geochemistry; carbonate; alkali silica reaction.

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Submitted: 2017-11-14 15:30:42
Published: 2018-01-04 00:00:00
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Copyright (c) 2018 Marianna Cangemi, Paolo Madonia, Sergio Speziale

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