The Volcanic Evolution of Cerro Uturuncu: A High-K, Composite Volcano in the Back-Arc of the Central Andes of SW Bolivia

DOI: 10.4236/ijg.2014.511105   PDF   HTML   XML   4,186 Downloads   5,006 Views   Citations


Cerro Uturuncu, southwest Bolivia, is a high-K, calc-alkaline, composite volcano constructed upon extremely thick continental crust approximately 125 km behind the arc-front of the Andean Central Volcanic Zone (CVZ). Eruptive activity occurred between 890 - 271 ka in a single phase of volcanism lasting ~620,000 years. The edifice consists of a central cone and several flank vents where dacitic and andesitic lava flows and domes erupted. Volumes of individual eruptive units range from 0.1 to ~10 km3; the composite volume of Uturuncu is ~89 km3. In this paper, we present new field, petrographic, and geochemical data in an effort to understand the volcanic and magmatic evolution of Uturuncu. Lava flows and domes have a restricted range in whole rock compositions ranging from 61 wt% - 67 wt% SiO2; magmatic inclusions contained within these units have a larger range from 53 wt% - 64 wt% SiO2. Typical phenocryst assemblages are plagioclase > orthopyroxene > biotite >> quartz and Fe-Ti oxides. Pb isotope ratios are characteristic of the southern CVZ by containing high 207Pb/204Pb and 206Pb/204Pb and moderate to high 208Pb/204Pb. Sr and Nd isotope ratios indicate that Uturuncu magmas were modified by high 87Sr/86Sr and low 143Nd/144Nd felsic basement lithology during magma migration and differentiation. In all eruptive units, there is petrographic and geochemical evidence for magma mixing and mingling. In this regard, magma mixing and mingling is considered to be responsible for the small range in lava flow and dome compositions throughout the eruptive history of the center.

Share and Cite:

Michelfelder, G. , Feeley, T. and Wilder, A. (2014) The Volcanic Evolution of Cerro Uturuncu: A High-K, Composite Volcano in the Back-Arc of the Central Andes of SW Bolivia. International Journal of Geosciences, 5, 1263-1281. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2014.511105.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Davidson, J.P., Harmon, R.S. and Worner, G. (1991) The Source of Central Andean Magmas: Some Considerations. In: Harmon, R.S. and Rapela, C.W., Eds., Andean Magmatism and Its Tectonic Setting, Geological Society of America Special Paper 265, 233-244.
[2] Feeley, T.C. and Hacker, M.D. (1995) Intracrustal Derivation of Na-Rich Andesitic and Dacitic Magmas: An Example from Volcan Ollague, Andean Central Volcanic Zone. Geology, 103, 213-215.
[3] Klemetti, E.W. and Grunder, A.L. (2008) Volcanic Evolution of Volcan Aucanquilcha: A Long-Lived Dacite Volcano in the Central Andes of Northern Chile. Bulletin of Volcanology, 70, 633-650.
[4] Mamani, M., Tassara, A. and Worner, G. (2008) Composition and Structural Control of Crustal Domains in the Central Andes. Geochemistry Geophysics and Geosystems, 9, 3.
[5] Mamani, M., Worner, G. and Sempere, T. (2010) Geochemical Variation in Igneous Rocks of the Central Andean Orocline (13° to 18°S): Tracing Crustal Thickening and Magma Generation through Time and Space. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 122, 163-182.
[6] de Silva, S.L. (1989) Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex of the Central Andes. Geology, 17, 1102-1106.<1102:APVCOT>2.3.CO;2
[7] de Silva, S.L., Zandt, G., Trumbull, R., Viramonte, J., Salas, G. and Jiminez, N. (2006) Large Ignimbrite Eruptions and Volcano-Tectonic Depressions in the Central Andes: A Thermomechanical Perspective. In: Troise, C., De Natale, G. and Kilburn, C.R.J., Eds., Mechanisms of Activity and Unrest at Large Calderas, Geological Society Special Publication No. 269, The Geological Society, London, 47-63.
[8] Lindsay, J.M., de Silva, S.L., Trumbull, R. and Emmermann, R. (2001) La Pacana Caldera, N. Chile: A Re-Evaluation of the Stratigraphy and Volcanology of One of the World’s Largest Resurgent Calderas. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermermal Research, 106, 145-173.
[9] Lindsay, J.M., Schmitt, A.K., Trumbull, R.B., de Silva, S.L., Siebel, W. and Emmermann, R. (2001) Magmatic Evolution of the La Pacana Caldera System, Central Andes, Chile: Compositional Variation of Two Cogenetic Large-Volume Felsic Ignimbrites. Journal of Petrology, 42, 459-486.
[10] Grunder, A.L., Klemetti, E.W., Feeley, T.C. and McKee, C.M. (2008) Eleven Million Years of Arc Volcanism at the Aucanquilcha Volcanic Cluster, Northern Chilean Andes: Implications for the Life Span and Emplacement of Plutons. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences, 97, 415-436.
[11] Kussmaul, S., Hormann, P.K., Ploskonka, E. and Subieta, T. (1977) Volcanism and Structure of Southwestern Bolivia. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 2, 73-111.
[12] Baker, M.C.W. and Francis, P.W. (1978) Upper Cenozoic Volcanism in Central Andes—Ages and Volumes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 41, 175-187.
[13] Davidson, J.P. and de Silva, S.L. (1995) Late Cenozoic Magmatism of the Bolivian Altiplano. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 119, 387-408.
[14] James, D.E. (1971) Plate Tectonic Model for the Evolution of the Central Andes. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 82, 3325-3346.[3325:PTMFTE]2.0.CO;2
[15] Beck, S.L. and Zandt, G. (2002) The Nature of Orogenic Crust in the Central Andes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 107, ESE710-ESE716.
[16] Sparks, R.S.J., Folkes, C.B., Humphreys, M.C.S., Barfod, D.N., Clavero, J., Sunagua, M.C., McNutt, S.R. and Pritchard, M.E. (2008) Ututuncu Volcano, Bolivia: Volcanic Unrest Due to Mid-Crustal Magma Intrusion. American Journal of Science, 308, 727-769.
[17] Harford, C.L., Pringle, M.S., Sparks, R.S. and Young, S.R. (2002) The Volcanic Evolution of Montserrat Using 40Ar/ 39Ar Geochronology. In: Druitt, T.H. and Kokelaar, B.P., Eds., The Eruption of Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat 1995 to 1999, Geological Society Memoir, London, 93-113.
[18] Le Friant, A., Lock, E.J., Hart, M.B., Boudon, G., Sparks, R.S., Leng, M.J., Smart, C.W., Komorowski, J.C., Deplus, C. and Fisher, J.K. (2008) Late Pleistocene Tephrochronology of Marine Sediments Adjacent to Montserrat, Lesser Antilles Volcanic Arc. Journal of the Geological Society, 165, 279-289.
[19] Allmendinger, R.W., Jordan, T.E., Kay, S.M. and Isacks, B.L. (1997) The Evolution of the Altiplano-Puna Plateau of the Central Andes. Annual Reviews in Earth and Planetary Science, 25, 139-174.
[20] de Silva, S.L. and Francis, P.W. (1991) Volcanoes of the Central Andes. Springer-Verlag, New York.
[21] Feeley, T.C., Davidson, J.P. and Armendia, A. (1993) The Volcanic and Magmatic Evolution of Volcan Ollague, a High-K, Late Quaternary Stratovolcano in the Andean Central Volcanic Zone. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 54, 221-245.
[22] Hayes, G.P., Wald, J.D. and Johnson, R.L. (2012) Slab1.0: A Three-Dimensional Model of Global Subduction Zone Geometries. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 117, 1-15.
[23] Muir, D.D., Blundy, J., Hutchinson, M.C. and Rust, A.C. (2014) Petrological Imaging of an Active Pluton beneath Cerro Uturuncu, Bolivia. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 167, 980.
[24] Thorpe, R.S., Potts, P.J., Hammill, M. and Baker, M.C.W. (1982) The Andes. In: Thorpe, R.S., Ed., Andesites, Wiley, New York, 187-205.
[25] Coira, B., Davidson, J., Mpodozis, C. and Ramos, V. (1982) Tectonic and Magmatic Evolution of the Andes of Northern Argentina and Chile. Earth-Science Reviews, 18, 303-332.
[26] de Silva, S.L., Davidson, J.P., Croudace, I.W. and Escobar, A. (1993) Volcanological and Petrological Evolution of Volcan Tata Sabaya, SW Bolivia. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 55, 305-335.
[27] Johnson, D.M., Hooper, P.R. and Conrey, R.M. (1999) GeoAnalytical Lab, Washington State University. Advances in X-Ray Analysis, 41, 843-867.
[28] Jarvis, K.E. (1988) Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry: A New Technique for the Rapid or Ultra-Trace Level Determination of the Rare-Earth Elements in Geological Materials. Chemical Geology, 68, 31-39.
[29] Michelfelder, G.S., Feeley, T.C., Wilder, A.D. and Klemetti, E.W. (2013) Modification of the Continental Crust by Subduction Zone Magmatism and Vice-Versa: Across-Strike Geochemical Variation of Silicic Lavas from Individual Eruptive Centers in the Andean Central Volcanic Zone. Geosciences, 3, 633-667.
[30] Schmitt, A.K., de Silva, S.L., Trumbull, R. and Emmermann, R. (2001) Magma Evolution in the Purico Ignimbrite Complex, Northern Chile: Evidence for Zoning of a Dacitic Magma by Injection of Rhyolitic Melts Following Mafic Recharge. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 140, 680-700.
[31] Iriarte, R. (2012) The Cerro Guacha Caldera Complex: An Upper Miocene-Pliocene Polycyclic Volcano-Tectonic Structure in the Altiplano Puna Volcanic Complex of the Central Andes of Bolivia. M.S., Oregon State University, Corvallis, 127 p.
[32] Pritchard, M.E. and Simons, M. (2002) A Satellite Geodetic Survey of Large-Scale Deformation of Volcanic Centres in the Central Andes. Nature, 418, 167-171.
[33] Henderson, S.T. and Pritchard, M.E. (2013) Decadal Volcanic Deformation in the Central Andes Volcanic Zone Revealed by InSAR Time Series. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 15, 1358-1374.
[34] Fernandez, A.C., Hormann, P.K., Kussmaul, S., Meave, J., Pichler, H. and Subieta, T. (1973) First Petrologic Data on Young Volcanic Rocks of SW-Bolivia. Mineralogy and Petrology, 19, 149.
[35] Hildreth, W.S. and Moorbath, S. (1988) Crustal Contribution to Arc Magmatism in the Andes of Central Chile. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 98, 455-489.
[36] Bacon, C.J. (1986) Magmatic Inclusions in Silicic and Intermediate Volcanic Rocks. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 91, 6091-6112.
[37] Davidson, J.P., McMillan, N.J., Moorbath, S., Worner, G., Harmon, R.S. and Lopez-Escobar, L. (1990) The Nevados de Payachata Volcanic Region (18°S, 69°W, N. Chile) II: Evidence or Widespread Crustal Involvement in Andean Magmatism. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 105, 412-432.
[38] Feeley, T.C., Wilson, L.F. and Underwood, S.J. (2008) Distribution and Composition of Magmatic Inclusions in the Mount Helen Dome, Lassen Volcanic Center, California: Insight into Magma Chamber Processes. Lithos, 106, 173-189.
[39] Ort, M.H., Coira, B.L. and Mazzoni, M.M. (1996) Generation of a Crust-Mantle Mixture; Magma Sources and Contamination at Cerro Panizos Central Andes. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 123, 308-322.
[40] McLeod, C.L., Davidson, J.P., Nowell, G.M., de Silva, S.L. and Schmitt, A.K. (2013) Characterizing the Continental Basement of the Central Andes: Constraints Form Bolivian Crustal Xenoliths. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 125, 985-997.
[41] Lucassen, F., Franz, G., Thirlwall, M.F. and Mezger, K. (1999) Crustal Recycling of Metamorphic Basement: Late Paleozoic Granites of Northern Chile (~22°S). Implications for the Composition of the Andean Crust. Journal of Petrology, 40, 1527-1551.
[42] Hernando, I.R., Aragon, E., Frei, R., Gonzalez, P.D. and Spakman, W. (2014) Constraints on the Origin and Evolutions of Magmas in the Payun Matru Volcanic Field, Quaternary Andean Back-Arc of Western Argentina. Journal of Petrology, 55, 209-239.
[43] De Paolo, D.J. (1981) Trace Element and Isotopic Effects of Combined Wallrock Assimilation and Fractional Crystallization. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 53, 189-202.
[44] Feeley, T.C. (1993) Crustal Modification during Subduction-Zone Magmatism: Evidence from the Southern Salar de Uyuni Region (20°-22°S), Central Andes. Geology, 21, 1019-1022.<1019:CMDSZM>2.3.CO;2
[45] Kay, S.M., Coira, B.L., Caffe, P.J. and Chen, C.H. (2010) Regional Chemical Diversity, Crustal and Mantle Sources and Evolution of Central Andean Puna Plateau Ignimbrites. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 198, 81-111.
[46] Clavero, J.E., Sparks, R.S.J., Pringle, M.S., Polanco, E. and Gardeweg, M.C. (2004) Evolution and Volcanic Hazards of Taapaca Volcanic Complex, Central Andes of Northern Chile. Journal of the Geologic Society, 161, 603-618.
[47] Voight, B., Komorowski, J. and Norton, G. (2002) The 26 December (Boxing Day) 1997 Sector Collapse and Debris Avalanche at Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat. In: Druitt, T. and Kokelaar, P., Eds., The Eruption of Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat, from 1995 to 1999, Geological Society, Memoirs, London, 363-408.
[48] Sparks, S. and Young, S. (2002) The Eruption of Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat (1995-1999): Overview of Scientific Results. In: Druitt, T. and Kokelaar, P., Eds., The Eruption of Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat, from 1995 to 1999, Geological Society, Memoirs, London, 45-70.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.