The island of Pantelleria is located in the Sicily Channel (in map) Rift Zone [The rifting areas are the sectors where the lithosphere separates into two plates that move away from each other (Doglioni)] and is the emerged tip of an underwater volcano complex with 72% lying below sea level, down to a depth of about 1200 m (Bosman et al., 2011). Its origin is linked to the Pantelleria graben, one of the three main tectonic depressions of the NW-SE trending extensional area in the SCRZ. The rifting process has been active since the Late Miocene, accompanied by widespread volcanic activity mainly concentrated on the islands of Pantelleria and Linosa and the Bannock Seamount (Corti et al., 2006).

The volcanic activity of Pantelleria island started at least 320 ka before present (BP) and was characterized by major explosive events, sometimes followed by caldera collapses, alternating with mild eruptions. The last calderic collapse occurred 44-50 ka BP (Orsi et al., 1991). The last episode of eruptive activity, in 1891, 5 Km NW offshore North of Pantelleria, showed that there is still volcanic activity in the submerged part of the island (Conte et al., 2014).

To date, the volcanism of Pantelleria is still on-going with the presence of a natural spa, thermal springs and fumaroles located along the main tectonic structures. Currently, some of these places are recognized as Geosites and in particular "Favara Grande", "Fumarole della Vecchia Caserma", "Monte Gibele" and "Specchio di Venere" (in photo).

In photo: The "Specchio di Venere" Lake


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