Polycyclic scoria cones of the Antofagasta de la Sierra basin, Southern Puna plateau, Argentina
Published:January 01, 2017
Walter Báez, Gerardo Carrasco Nuñez, Guido Giordano, José G. Viramonte, Agostina Chiodi, 2017. "Polycyclic scoria cones of the Antofagasta de la Sierra basin, Southern Puna plateau, Argentina", Monogenetic Volcanism, K. Németh, G. Carrasco-Núñez, J. J. Aranda-Gómez, I. E. M. Smith
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Despite a number of published papers focusing on the geodynamic implications of the recent Southern Puna mafic magmatism, there have been fewer studies of the volcanology and stratigraphy of this outstanding volcanism. This paper presents a detailed map of two well-preserved Quaternary scoria cones showing their complex stratigraphy. Complementary morphometric, morpho-structural, petrographic and geochemical data were used to reconstruct the evolution of both volcanoes. The occurrence of more than one eruption at each volcano was inferred by the recognition of temporal hiatuses using morpho-stratigraphic criteria. The polycyclic nature of both scoria cones could be related to a combination of a high input magma in response to lithospheric delamination, a favourable regional stress field and the interaction of rising magma with pre-existing faults. The youngest eruptions in both volcanoes were complex, with shifts in the eruptive style from violent strombolian to hawaiian/strombolian phases, and probably lasted for a few years. The explosive activity was accompanied by the emission of lava flows from lateral vents. Phreatomagmatic activity was triggered during the waning stages of the eruptions. The occurrence of more than one eruption in a single scoria cone and the changes in the eruptive style during long-lasting eruptions are important topics for volcanic hazard assessment in the Southern Puna.
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The nature and origin of the small-scale volcanic systems, generally referred to as “monogenetic”, have enjoyed an elevated level of interest during the past decade. There has been recognition that their ostensibly simple volcano types are a window into the nature of explosive volcanism, landscape evolution and the processes of magma generation in the Earth’s upper mantle. In the past few years, major conferences have offered specialized technical sessions dealing with monogenetic volcanism and there have been thematic conferences, such as the IAVCEI International Maar Conference series, which have provided a focus for discussion of volcanological and geochemical aspects of small-scale basaltic volcanism. Many new aspects of monogenetic volcanism have emerged and have clearly demonstrated that this volcanism can be very complex on a fine scale. This book is a collection of papers arising from two recent Maar Conferences (the fifth in Queretaro Mexico and the sixth in Changchun, China) and serves as a snapshot of current research on monogenetic volcanism.