Charles R. Stern, Hugo Moreno, Leopoldo López-Escobar (coordinators), Jorge E. Clavero, Luis E. Lara, Jose A. Naranjo, Miguel A. Parada, M. Alexandra Skewes, 2007. "Chilean volcanoes", The Geology of Chile, Teresa Moreno, Wes Gibbons
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There are over 200 Pleistocene and Holocene Andean arc volcanoes along western South America, occurring in four distinct segments (Fig. 5.1) called the Northern (NVZ; 2°N–5°S), Central (CVZ; 14°S–28°S), Southern (SVZ; 33°S–46°S) and Austral (AVZ; 49°S–55°S) volcanic zones. In the Andes of Chile alone there are more than 100 Pleistocene and Holocene stratovolcanoes, as well as a number of large volcanic fields and giant caldera complexes, of which 60 have documented Holocene eruptive activity (Simkin & Siebert 1994; González-Ferrán 1995). These are located in the CVZ of northern Chile, the SVZ of central-south Chile, and the AVZ of southernmost Chile. Pleistocene and Holocene backarc volcanic centres, the westernmost part of the Patagonian plateau basalts, also occur in southern Chile along the border with Argentina. In addition, intraplate oceanic volcanoes form Chilean islands in the Pacific Ocean, submarine volcanism takes place along the Chile Ridge, and slab-window volcanic activity occurs above the region where the Chile Ridge is currently being subducted, both along the west coast of Chile and in the submarine environment near the trench.
Pleistocene and Holocene volcanoes of the Chilean Andes provide a natural laboratory for the study of volcanism, magma genesis and volcanic hazards in the context of oceanic– continental plate collision. Andean volcanic activity results from subduction of the Nazca and Antarctic oceanic plates below the continental lithosphere of western South America (Fig. 5.1). Volcanoes in the CVZ of northern Chile and the SVZ of central-south Chile occur where the angle of
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This book is the first comprehensive account in English of the geology of Chile, providing a key reference work that brings together many years of research, and written mostly by Chilean authors from various universities and other centres of research excellence. The 13 chapters begin with a general overview, followed by detailed accounts of Andean tectonostratigraphy and magmatism, the amazingly active volcanism, the world class ore deposits that have proven to be so critical to the welfare of the country, and Chilean water resources. The subject then turns to geophysics with an examination of neotectonics and earthquakes, the hazardous frequency of which is a daily fact of life for the Chilean population. There are chapters on the offshore geology and oceanography of the SE Pacific Ocean, subjects that continue to attract much research not least from those seeking to understand world climatic variations, and on late Quaternary land environments, concluding with an account examining human colonization of southernmost America.
During his voyage on H.M.S. Beagle, an extended visit to Chile (1834-35) had a profound impact on Charles Darwin, especially on his understanding of volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis. Over more recent decades scientists have come to recognize the Chilean Andes as providing the classic example of a mountain belt produced by oceanic subduction beneath a continent, as well as some of the most dramatic scenic and climatic variations on Earth. In the final chapter, the editors offer a description of a drive from the Mediterranean landscapes of central Chile to the hyperarid Atacama Desert, a contribution designed to give visitors a chance to experience for themselves the geology and scenery of this extraordinary country.