Gold Open Access: This paper is published under the terms of the CC-BY license.

The Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex of the Central Andes is host to an ∼150-km-wide, quasi-circular ground deformation anomaly centered on Uturuncu volcano (Bolivia). The precise onset and duration of this deformation is unclear, but geomorphologic studies bracket its initiation at less than a few hundred years ago. Here we report on the deformation history over an ∼50 yr period by deriving orthometric height changes from leveling and global navigation satellite system (GNSS) observations at 53 benchmarks along a regional leveling line that crosses the deformation anomaly. The comparison of interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) line-of-sight (LOS) displacements and LOS-projected orthometric ground velocities in a common reference frame reveal central uplift extending to ∼35 km from Uturuncu at a maximum orthometric rate of 1.2 cm yr–1, and peripheral subsidence at a maximum rate of 0.3 cm yr–1 to ∼60 km from Uturuncu. This pattern is consistent with the spatial extent and average rate of deformation observed by InSAR. Our interpretation of the data is that long-wavelength ground uplift at Uturuncu has likely occurred at a quasi-constant rate for at least half of a century. This study bridges the observational time spans between modern satellite geodetic observations (up to a few decades) and geomorphological observations (a few centuries and longer) of the recent deformation history of the continental crust in the Central Andes and adds to a select group of case studies of quantifiable long-term volcano deformation worldwide.

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