Neogene monogenetic volcanism from the Northern Puna region: products and eruptive styles
Guadalupe Maro, Pablo J. Caffe, 2017. "Neogene monogenetic volcanism from the Northern Puna region: products and eruptive styles", Monogenetic Volcanism, K. Németh, G. Carrasco-Núñez, J. J. Aranda-Gómez, I. E. M. Smith
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The Neogene mafic volcanism of the Northern Puna region in the Central Andes is represented by scoria cones and lava flows dispersed over a wide region (c. 9150 km2) as isolated or poorly clustered centres. Although all the products are basaltic andesites to andesites, the behaviour of these magmatic systems resembles that seen in basaltic monogenetic fields. These centres were studied with the aim of defining the main volcanic lithofacies and evaluating the eruptive styles. The results suggest that the eruptions developed under a dry strombolian dynamic, with brief periods of lava fountaining and hydrovolcanism, the latter usually restricted to the early stages of cone construction. Changes in eruptive style are thought to be caused by variations in both the internal (e.g. magma ascent) and external (e.g. surficial water availability) conditions. The transitions do not reflect compositional changes, as evidenced by the small chemical differences observed among the products of the studied eruptive centres. Stratigraphic analysis, in addition to a few pre-existing radiometric dates, suggests that this volcanic activity occurred during the Late Miocene to Early Pliocene. This information supports the inference that these eruptions occurred before the peak of Southern Puna mafic volcanism and that they were coeval with eruptions of some of the most important silicic calderas of the Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex. The good preservation of volcanic edifices reveals that erosion rates were extremely low, in agreement with the high aridity conditions that have prevailed in the Puna region since the Mid- to Late Miocene.
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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.