STRATIGRAPHY OF PYROCLASTIC DEPOSITS OF EL AGUAJITO CALDERA, BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR, MÉXICO
Abstract:El Aguajito caldera is located in the State of Baja California Sur, it comprises an area of 450 km2 and sits within the Santa Rosalía Basin which is controlled by NE-SW extensional structures and the NW-SE Cimarron Fault that transects the caldera structure. The oldest rocks are ~90 Ma granodiorites covered by an Oligocene-Miocene volcano-sedimentary sequence, the Miocene Santa Lucia Formation and La Esperanza basalt. Pliocene volcanism is represented by La Reforma caldera, El Aguajito caldera, and the Tres Vírgenes Volcanic complex.
This study focuses on the cartography and stratigraphy of area in order to understand the evolution of the volcanic system. The stratigraphy from base to top consists of a series of shallow marine sediments (fossiliferous sandstones) covered by a thick sequence of ignimbrites and pyroclastic flows interbedded with volcaniclastic deposits (Gloria and El Infierno Formations). On top of these deposits is El Aguajito caldera, it consists of a 2 m thick pumice fallout followed by an ignimbrite with three transitional lithofacies: a ≤30-m thick light-pink pyroclastic flow enriched in pumice at the base that gradually becomes enrich in lithics towards the top with the occurrence of degasing pipes. On top rests a 15 m-thick light-purple ignimbrite slightly welded with fiammes and a sequence of pumiceous pyroclastic flows and fallouts. These deposits have been associate to the caldera formation with a collapse diameter of ~8 km marked by rhyolitic domes exposed along a ring collapse crowned the sequence as well as NW-SE aligned rhyolitic domes parallel to the seashore. This cartography allowed to present a preliminary new geological map with four stratigraphic units recognized so far, that were emplaced under subaerial conditions beginning with a Plinian column followed by the emplacement of El Aguajito ignimbrite with its subsequent caldera collapse and finally the extrusion of resurgent domes.