Quaternary volcanism in the Acambay graben, Mexican Volcanic Belt: Re-evaluation for potential volcanic danger in central Mexico

Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Gerardo J Aguirre-Diaz1, Dario Pedrazzi1, Pierre Lacan1, Jaime Roldan-Quintana2, Maria Ortuňo3, Ramon Ramón Zuniga1, Laurence Audin4 and Acambay Graben Team, (1)Centro de Geociencias, UNAM, Juriquilla, Queretaro, Mexico, (2)Instituto de Geologia, UNAM, Estacion Regional del Norte, Hermosillo, Mexico, (3)Faculty of Geology, University of Barcelona, Department of Geodynamics and Physics, Barcelona, Spain, (4)Institut des Sciences de la Terre, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble I, Grenoble, France
The Mexican Volcanic Belt (MVB) is best known for the major active stratovolcanoes, such as Popocatépetl, Citlaltépetl and Colima. The most common stratovolcanoes in this province are modest-size cones with heights of 800 to 1000 m. Examples are Tequila, Sangangüey, Las Navajas, Culiacán, La Joya, El Zamorano, Temascalcingo and Altamirano; these last two were formed within the Acambay Graben in central MVB. The Acambay graben (20 x 70 km) is 100 km to the NW of Mexico City, with E-W trending seismically active normal faults; in particular the Acambay-Tixmadejé fault related to a mB =7 earthquake in 1912. Within the graben there are many volcanic structures, including calderas, domes, cinder cones and stratovolcanoes; Temascalcingo and Altamirano are the largest, with about 800 and 900 m heights, respectively. Temascalcingo is mostly composed of dacitic lavas and block and ash flow deposits. Includes a 3 x 2.5 km summit caldera and a magmatic sector collapse event with the associated debris avalanche deposit. 14C ages of 37-12 ka correspond to the volcano’s latest phases that produced pyroclastic deposits. A major plinian eruption formed the San Mateo Pumice with an age of <20 Ka. Altamirano volcano is poorly studied; it is andesitic-dacitic, composed of lavas, pyroclastic flow deposits, and pumice fallouts. Morphologically is better preserved than Temascalcingo, and it should be younger. 14C ages of 4.0-2.5 ka were performed in charcoal within pyroclastic flow deposits that apparently were erupted from Altamirano. An undated 3 m thick pumice fallout on the flanks of Altamirano volcano could be also Holocene. It represents a major explosive event. The relatively young ages found in volcanic deposits within the Acambay graben raise the volcanic danger level in this area, originally thought as an inactive volcanic zone. The two major volcanoes, Temascalcingo and Altamirano, should be considered as dormant volcanoes that could restart activity at any time. We thanks grant DGAPA-UNAM-PAPIIT IN-104615.