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Book Chapter

Late Pleistocene rhyolitic explosive volcanism at Los Azufres Volcanic Field, central Mexico

By
José Luis Arce
José Luis Arce
Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cd. Universitaria Coyoacán, México D.F. 04510, México
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José Luis Macías
José Luis Macías
Instituto de Geofísica, Campus-Morelia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 58190 Morelia, Michoacán, México
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Elizabeth Rangel
Elizabeth Rangel
Posgrado en Ciencias de la Tierra, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Geología, Cd. Universitaria, Coyoacán, México D.F. 04510, México
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Paul Layer
Paul Layer
Geology and Geophysics Department, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775, USA
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Víctor Hugo Garduño-Monroy
Víctor Hugo Garduño-Monroy
Instituto de Metalurgia, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Morelia Michoacán, México
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Ricardo Saucedo
Ricardo Saucedo
Instituto de Geología, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí, México
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Felipe García
Felipe García
Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Escuela Superior de Ingeniería y Arquitectura, Ticomán, México D.F., México
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Renato Castro
Renato Castro
Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo, México D.F., México
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Héctor Pérez-Esquivias
Héctor Pérez-Esquivias
Comisión Federal de Electricidad, Residencia Los Azufres, Michoacán, México
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Published:
January 01, 2012

Abstract

Los Azufres Volcanic Field hosts the second most important geothermal field of Mexico, with a production of 188 MW of electricity. Based on fieldwork and new geochronological data (14C and 40Ar/39Ar) we define that activity at Los Azufres Volcanic Field started some 1.5 Ma with the emission of basaltic to rhyolitic lavas, and pyroclastic material. The late Pleistocene explosive activity in the southwest sector (Guangoche volcano area) of Los Azufres occurred in a narrow period of time between >31 and <26 ka. The pyroclastic stratigraphy of the S, SW, and W sectors is represented by diverse deposits of dacitic and rhyolitic composition, including a debris avalanche deposit related to a sector collapse of San Andrés volcano, several pyroclastic sequences associated with plateau forming lavas, and Guangoche volcano. Guangoche volcano was the focus of late Pleistocene eruptive activity with two Plin-ian and one subplinian events that deposited pumice-rich falls and pyroclastic flows and surges. These deposits are informally named the White Pumice (29 ka), which originated from a 23-km-high eruptive column and the ejection of 1.7 km3 of tephra that covered an area of at least 223 km2 with a mass discharge rate of 9 × 107 kg/s; the Ochre Pumice fall (<26 ka), deposited from a 16-km-high eruptive column involving 1.3 km3 of tephra at a mass discharge rate of 1.9 × 107 kg/s; and the Multilayered fallout (<<26 ka) that resulted from an 11-km-high eruptive column with 1 km3 of tephra at a mass discharge rate of 4.6 × 106 kg/s. The complete late Pleistocene stratigraphy suggests that explosive events at Los Azufres Volcanic Field have been intense. They are the subject of ongoing investigations to better understand this kind of large magnitude eruptions.

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Contents

GSA Field Guide

The Southern Cordillera and Beyond

José Jorge Aranda-Gómez
José Jorge Aranda-Gómez
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Centro de Geociencias Campus Juriquilla Querétaro Qro. 76230 México
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Gustavo Tolson
Gustavo Tolson
Instituto de Geología Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México México D.F. 04510 México
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Roberto S. Molina-Garza
Roberto S. Molina-Garza
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Centro de Geociencias Campus Juriquilla Querétaro Qro. 76230 México
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Geological Society of America
Volume
25
ISBN electronic:
9780813756257
Publication date:
January 01, 2012

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