Geology Of Lampedusa

Lampedusa geologically belongs to the "Pelagian Province" (USGS definition): it lies on a structural high called the Lampedusa Plateau.  The Pelagian platform is a structural member of the African continent. A detailed study of the geology of the Pelagian province has been produced by the USGS (US Geological Survey Bullettin 2202-D) in a study by T.R. Klett called "Total Petroleum System of the Pelagian Province" .

South/Central Mediterranean Sea USGS defined Pelagian Province 
(Courtesy of T.R. Klett)
Cross Section: geology of the Pelagian Province from North to South (Courtesy of T.R. Klett)
Cross Section: geology of the Pelagian Province from East to West to South (Courtesy of T.R. Klett)


A detailed geological map of Lampedusa was prepared by Grasso and Pedley (1988), it can be purchased online from the egeo-portal of the University of Siena ( small preview below):


Lampedusa is almost wholly composed by Limestone: comparison with similar sequences in Sicily and Malta indicates that the genesis of Lampedusa carbonates can be most likely dated to the late Tortonian early Messinian age (end of Miocene or approximately between 10 and 6 millions of years ago).  Lampedusa is essentially a tilted block of limestone with the highest point being in the NW coast and the lowest point in the SE coast, the rock composing the island is a white to creamy-yellow soft limestone.  

Limestone Layers -Lampedusa NW

The carbonate deposits on Lampedusa accordingly to Grasso show evidence for syntectonic sedimentation with most of the syntectonic sedimentary features directly related to movements along the Cala Creta fault on the Eastern coast of the island. The ubiquitous presence of limestone rocks on the island of Lampedusa perhaps had a fundamental role on nature of the megalithic development of the prehistoric settlements on Lampedusa: it provided the prehistoric people of Lampedusa with a very convenient building stone.
Limestone prehistoric slabs and structure Lampedusa


Bibliography:
Sagrè "Rendiconti Accademia Nazionale dei XL" Roma, 1960, Serie IV, Volume XI, pagg. 144 e seguenti
"Carta geologica dell'isola di Lampedusa", 1988, Grasso M., Pedley H.M.
Grasso, M. & Pedley, HM, (1985) "The Pelagian Islands: a new geological interpretation from sedimentological and tectonic studies..." Geol. Romana
M. Grasso, H.M. Pedley and C.D. Reuther, The geology of the Pelagian Islands and their structural setting related to the Pantelleria Rift ... Centro, 1(2): 1-19 Msida (Malta)
Grasso et al "Shallow crustal stress and neotectonic framework of the Malta Platform and the southern Pamtelleria Rift

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