Transtension controlling volcanic morphology: Insights from oblique-to-the-arc tectonic domains

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Gerd Sielfeld1,2, Jose M Cembrano1,2 and Luis E Lara3, (1)Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Chile, (2)Andean Geothermal Center of EXCELLENCE, Santiago, Chile, (3)SERNAGEOMIN, Santiago, Chile
Long and short-term tectonic activity plays an essential role in the segregation, transport and emplacement of fluids and magmas within the continental crust. Magma ascent and emplacement mechanisms within volcanic arcs are largely controlled by the interplay between pre-existing structural anisotropies, regional stress field, magmatic driving pressure, and the viscous resistance to magma flow. For the upper crust, many authors have stated that the orientation of principal tectonic stresses may determine the spatial distribution and geometry of eruptive vents and related feeder dykes Thus, regional and/or local tectonics (differential stresses) may exert a fundamental control in volcanic morphology and produce linear eruptive arrays of Andean-type strato-volcanoes, as a result of stability on long-lived structural system of sub-parallel dyke swarms and aligned minor eruptive centers along volcano flanks. In South-central Chile, the Callaqui Volcano consists of tens of aligned Pleisto-Holocene eruptive vents and hundreds of sub-parallel dykes, preserved along the ENE-WSW Callaqui volcano ridge. Morpho-structural field mapping and remote sensing analysis yields that Pleistocene eruptive vents are aligned into a N60°E-trending en echelon array, whereas its elliptical craters maximum diameter trend N66°E. Post-glacial eruptive vents also are organized into a N60°E trend, observed in both, isolated talweg scoria cone and flank fissural eruption. In addition, sub-parallel, underlying dyke swarms strike N60°E in it central portion of the volcanic system, becoming nearly E-W on distal zones. Examination of morphometrical and structural data yields that emplacement of magma occurs within a dextral transtensional regime, along a major regional discontinuity recognized previously by other authors. The strain field obtained within this study is consistent with the regional ENE shortening derived by the oblique convergence between Nazca and South-American plates.