The Zannone Giant Pockmark (ZGP) is a shallow-water (<−150 m) giant depression located on the shelf off Zannone Island (Pontine Archipelago, central Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy), hosting active hydrothermal vents. The ZGP seabed displays different fluid-venting morphologies (pockmarks, lithified pavements, mounds, and cone-shaped structures) and widespread bacterial communities. In this study, we analyzed ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) images to gain information on seabed geology and the textural, mineralogical, and geochemical composition of authigenic crusts and gravel-sized clasts sampled close to active emissions. ROV images show authigenic dome-shaped crusts composed of native sulfur associated with barite, gypsum, amorphous silica, and secondary hydrothermal minerals (illite–montmorillonite). The gravel-sized clasts are mostly rhyolites strongly affected by hydrothermal alteration (Alteration Index > 88; depletion of some mobile elements and enrichment of some base metals), causing feldspar-destruction, silicification, formation of hydrothermal phyllosilicates, and precipitation of disseminated pyrite. More intense alteration implying the complete obliteration of the primary mineralogy or fabric is represented by quartz-pyrite samples. ZGP seabed morphology and petro-geochemical features of deposits point to the possible occurrence of a sulfide system linked to the degassing of magma similar to that feeding the Pleistocene products of Ponza Island.
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