Stratigraphic And Lithofacies Study Of Distal Rain-Triggered Lahars: The Case Of West Coast Of Ecuador
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
The central zone of the coast of Ecuador at the north of Manabí Province, on the area comprised between Salango and Jama communities, is characterized by the presence of whitish to grey, centimeters to meters thick, consolidated to loose distal ash deposits. Recent archeological studies on Valdivia (3500 BC) and Manteña (800-1500 AC - Harris et al. 2004) civilizations remains link this deposits with the intense eruptive phases that afflicted Ecuador 700-900 years ago (Usselman, 2006). Stratigraphic evidences and bibliographic datations of paleosols (Estrada, 1962; Mothes and Hall, 2008), allowed to estimate that these deposits are linked with the 800 BP eruption of Quilotoa and the following eruptions of Cotopaxi. According to the Smith and Lowe classification (1991), the deposits outcropping on the coast (located at a distance greater than 160 km from the volcanic vents), varied from whitish to grey, loose to weakly consolidated, massive to weakly stratified, centimeters to meters thick, coarse to fine ash matrix layers (diluite streamflow facies) to massive, large angular to sub-rounded siltitic blocks-rich and coarse to medium ash matrix deposits (debris flow facies). These types of lithofacies are associated to a rain-triggered lahar (De Belizal et al., 2013). The presence in some stratigraphic sections of sharp contacts, laminated layers of very fine ash, and also cm-thick sand and silt layers between the ash beds of the same deposits permit to understand that the different pulses were generated in short periods and after a long period. Structures like water pipes imply that the lahar went into the sea (Schneider, 2004), and allow the reconstruction of the paleotopographic condition during the emplacement of these deposits. This study focuses on the characterization of these types of deposits, permit to understand the kind of risk that may affect the towns located on the coast of Ecuador after VEI 4 to 6 eruptions on short time and within years.