Holocene tephra succession of Puyehue-Cordón Caulle and Antillanca/Casablanca volcanic complexes, southern Andes (40–41°S)

TitleHolocene tephra succession of Puyehue-Cordón Caulle and Antillanca/Casablanca volcanic complexes, southern Andes (40–41°S)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsNaranjo, JA, Singer, BS, Jicha, BR, Moreno, H, Lara, LE
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Pagination109 - 128

Abstract Puyehue-Cordón Caulle and Antillanca volcanic complexes are two of at least 50 active frontal arc volcanoes that define the 1400 km-long Southern Volcanic Zone of Chile. Holocene tephra deposits in Chile and Argentina (40–41°S) up to 100 km east of these volcanoes comprise at least five voluminous (  1 to   8 km3) pyroclastic-fall layers that preceded several recently deposited Cordón Caulle pumice fallouts. Field observations of proximal, medium, and distal facies of the deposits, in conjunction with geochronology and geochemistry of the volcanic complexes, indicate that three fall layers are derived from Puyehue volcano (Puyehue 1 and 2, and Mil Hojas), whereas two are sourced from the Antillanca complex (Playas Blanca-Negra, and Nahuel Huapi Tephra), 20 km to the south. The oldest tephra (calibrated 14C age 10.49 ± 0.12 ka, 2σ), found only at medium-distal facies, is deposited directly on granitic moraine boulders and consists of deeply weathered, orange dacitic pumice lapilli. The next prominent tephra at   7 ka comprises dacitic pumice and its age is equivalent to a rhyodacitic dome exposed in the Puyehue summit crater. Above these deposits there are phases of a complex eruption consisting of a conspicuous compositionally-zoned tephra. It also comprises a pyroclastic density current, together with lithic rich and scoriaceous fallout deposits. Mineralogical, geochemical, and Sr isotope evidence, plus the isopach maps, confirm that this sequence of eruptive events is sourced from Antillanca at 1932 ± 68 yrBP. The total volume of this eruptive sequence exceeds 8 km3, making it the largest Holocene eruption from either volcanic complex. This eruption was likely responsible for the destruction of an ancestral Antillanca volcano and the formation of a 4.5 km diameter caldera. A distinctive younger unit in the region is a voluminous rhyodacitic pumice fall (calibrated 14C age 1.11 ± 0.07 ka), above which a series of several alternating dark lithic and pumice lapilli beds accumulated. Correlation with proximal deposits indicates that the 1.11 ka eruption was derived from Puyehue and destroyed   3 km3 of rhyodacitic domes at this volcano summit. Historic explosive activity at the nascent Casablanca volcano and along Cordón Caulle, including the 2011–2012 eruption (  1 km3 of uncompacted pumice), the largest from this fissural zone, emphasizes an increased risk for volcanic hazards in central Chile and Argentina.