Nevado del Tolima

Last updated
Nevado del Tolima
Nevado del Tolima - Colombia (8204622886).jpg
View of Nevado del Tolima
Highest point
Elevation 5,276 m (17,310 ft) [1]
Listing Volcanoes of Colombia
Coordinates 4°39′30″N75°19′46″W / 4.65833°N 75.32944°W / 4.65833; -75.32944 Coordinates: 4°39′30″N75°19′46″W / 4.65833°N 75.32944°W / 4.65833; -75.32944 [1]
Geography
Colombia relief location map.jpg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Nevado del Tolima
Location of Nevado del Tolima in Colombia
Location Tolima
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia
Parent range Central Ranges, Andes
Geology
Age of rock <40 ka
Late Pleistocene-recent
Mountain type Andesitic stratovolcano
Volcanic belt North Volcanic Zone
  Andean Volcanic Belt
Last eruption March 1943 [1]

The Nevado del Tolima is a Late Pleistocene to recently active andesitic stratovolcano located in the Tolima department, Colombia. The volcano lies south of Nevado del Ruiz volcano and is situated within the Los Nevados National Natural Park. The volcano, whose most recent activity dates to 1943 and last major eruption around 3600 years ago, overlies the Eocene El Bosque Batholith, dated at 49.1 ± 1.7 Ma. [2] [3]

The Late Pleistocene is a geochronological age of the Pleistocene Epoch and is associated with Upper Pleistocene stage rocks. The beginning of the stage is defined by the base of the Eemian interglacial phase before the final glacial episode of the Pleistocene 126,000 ± 5,000 years ago. Its end is defined at the end of the Younger Dryas, some 11,700 years ago. The age represents the end of the Pleistocene epoch and is followed by the Holocene epoch.

Andesite An intermediate volcanic rock

Andesite ( or ) is an extrusive igneous, volcanic rock, of intermediate composition, with aphanitic to porphyritic texture. In a general sense, it is the intermediate type between basalt and rhyolite, and ranges from 57 to 63% silicon dioxide (SiO2) as illustrated in TAS diagrams. The mineral assemblage is typically dominated by plagioclase plus pyroxene or hornblende. Magnetite, zircon, apatite, ilmenite, biotite, and garnet are common accessory minerals. Alkali feldspar may be present in minor amounts. The quartz-feldspar abundances in andesite and other volcanic rocks are illustrated in QAPF diagrams.

Stratovolcano Tall, conical volcano built up by many layers of hardened lava and other ejecta

A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a conical volcano built up by many layers (strata) of hardened lava, tephra, pumice and ash. Unlike shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes are characterized by a steep profile with a summit crater and periodic intervals of explosive eruptions and effusive eruptions, although some have collapsed summit craters called calderas. The lava flowing from stratovolcanoes typically cools and hardens before spreading far, due to high viscosity. The magma forming this lava is often felsic, having high-to-intermediate levels of silica, with lesser amounts of less-viscous mafic magma. Extensive felsic lava flows are uncommon, but have travelled as far as 15 km (9.3 mi).

Contents

Geography and geology

The steep-sided, glacier-clad Nevado del Tolima volcano contrasts with the broad profile of Nevado del Ruiz to the north. The andesitic-dacitic younger Tolima formed during the past 40,000 years, rising above and largely obscuring a 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) wide Late Pleistocene caldera. The summit consists of a cluster of Late Pleistocene to Holocene lava domes that were associated with thick block-lava flows on the northern and eastern flanks, and extensive pyroclastic-flow deposits. The summit contains a funnel-shaped crater 200 to 300 metres (660 to 980 ft) deep. Holocene activity has included explosive eruptions ranging in size from moderate to plinian. The last major eruption took place about 3600 years ago. Lava dome growth has produced block and ash flows that traveled primarily to the northeast and southeast. [1]

Dacite Volcanic rock intermediate in composition between andesite and rhyolite

Dacite is an igneous, volcanic rock. It has an aphanitic to porphyritic texture and is intermediate in composition between andesite and rhyolite. The word dacite comes from Dacia, a province of the Roman Empire which lay between the Danube River and Carpathian Mountains where the rock was first described.

A caldera is a large cauldron-like hollow that forms shortly after the emptying of a magma chamber/reservoir in a volcanic eruption. When large volumes of magma are erupted over a short time, structural support for the rock above the magma chamber is lost. The ground surface then collapses downward into the emptied or partially emptied magma chamber, leaving a massive depression at the surface. Although sometimes described as a crater, the feature is actually a type of sinkhole, as it is formed through subsidence and collapse rather than an explosion or impact. Only seven caldera-forming collapses are known to have occurred since 1900, most recently at Bárðarbunga volcano, Iceland in 2014.

Holocene The current geological epoch, covering the last 11,700 years

The Holocene is the current geological epoch. It began approximately 11,650 cal years before present, after the last glacial period, which concluded with the Holocene glacial retreat. The Holocene and the preceding Pleistocene together form the Quaternary period. The Holocene has been identified with the current warm period, known as MIS 1. It is considered by some to be an interglacial period within the Pleistocene Epoch.

Hydrology

The snow-capped Nevado del Tolima, with its almost symmetrical structure, has a radial drainage pattern in the upper part. The residual glacier on the top of the mountain feeds the rivers Totare, San Romualdo, Toche and Combeima. The latter is the main water source of the municipality of Ibagué. All these currents drain into the eastern slope of the Cordillera Central, directly into the Magdalena River.

Drainage system (geomorphology) pattern formed by the streams, rivers, and lakes in a particular drainage basin

In geomorphology, drainage systems, also known as river systems, are the patterns formed by the streams, rivers, and lakes in a particular drainage basin. They are governed by the topography of the land, whether a particular region is dominated by hard or soft rocks, and the gradient of the land. Geomorphologists and hydrologists often view streams as being part of drainage basins. A drainage basin is the topographic region from which a stream receives runoff, throughflow, and groundwater flow. The number, size, and shape of the drainage basins found in an area vary and the larger the topographic map, the more information on the drainage basin is available.

Ibagué Municipio in Andean Region, Colombia

Ibagué is the capital of Tolima and also part of The Colombian coffee Region, one of the 32 departments that make up the Republic of Colombia. The city is located in the center of the country, on the central mountain range of the Colombian Andes, near Nevado del Tolima. It is one of the most populous cities in the country, with about 498,401 inhabitants, making it the seventh (7th) most populous in Colombia. It was founded on October 14, 1550, by the Spanish captain Andrés López de Galarza. The city of Ibagué is divided into 13 communes and the rural area has 17 corregimientos. As the capital of the department of Tolima the city hosts the Government of Tolima, the Departmental Assembly, and the Attorney General's Office. It is the main epicenter of political, economic, administrative, business, art, culture, and tourism activities in the area.

Cordillera Central (Colombia) mountain range in the Colombian Andes

The Cordillera Central is the highest of the three branches of the Colombian Andes. The range extends from south to north dividing from the Colombian Massif in Cauca Department to the Serranía de San Lucas in Bolivar Departments. The highest peak is Nevado del Huila at 5,364 m (17,598 ft).

Flora and fauna

Los Nevados National Park

The Nevado del Tolima is located within the Los Nevados National Natural Park, In addition to the Nevado del Tolima, seven other volcanoes are located in the park: Nevado del Ruiz, Santa Isabel, Nevado del Quindío, Paramillo de Santa Rosa, Cerro Bravo, Cerro Machín and Nevado El Cisne.

Los Nevados National Natural Park protected area

Los Nevados National Natural Park is a national park located in the Cordillera Central of the Colombian Andes. The park sourrounds the northern volcanic complex formed by Nevado del Ruiz, Nevado del Tolima, Nevado de Santa Isabel, the paramillos of Cisne, Santa Rosa and Quindío and the Cerro Bravo and Cerro Machín.

Nevado del Ruiz Volcanic mountain in Colombia

The Nevado del Ruiz, also known as La Mesa de Herveo is a volcano located on the border of the departments of Caldas and Tolima in Colombia, about 129 kilometers (80 mi) west of the capital city Bogotá. It is a stratovolcano composed of many layers of lava alternating with hardened volcanic ash and other pyroclastic rocks. Volcanic activity at Nevado del Ruiz began about two million years ago, since the Early Pleistocene or Late Pliocene, with three major eruptive periods. The current volcanic cone formed during the present eruptive period, which began 150 thousand years ago.

Santa Isabel (volcano) volcano master

Santa Isabel is a shield volcano located in Tolima, Colombia, southwest of Nevado del Ruiz volcano. The volcano is located over the Palestina Fault, that crosscuts the underlying El Bosque Batholith of Eocene age, dated at 49.1 ± 1.7 Ma.

The park spans 58,300 hectares (144,000 acres) and stretches across the departments of Caldas, Quindío, Risaralda, Tolima. The park is administratively part of the municipalities Villamaría, Santa Rosa de Cabal, Pereira, Salento, and Ibagué.

Departments of Colombia department, group of municipalities, in Colombia

Colombia is a unitary republic made up of thirty-two departments and a Capital District. Each department has a Governor (gobernador) and a Department Assembly, elected by popular vote for a four-year period. The governor cannot be re-elected in consecutive periods. Departments are country subdivisions and are granted a certain degree of autonomy.

Caldas Department Department in Andean Region, Colombia

Caldas is a department of Colombia named after Colombian patriotic figure Francisco José de Caldas. It is part of the Paisa Region and its capital is Manizales. The population of Caldas is 1,030,062, and its area is 7,291 km². Caldas is also part of the Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis region along with the Risaralda and Quindio departments.

Quindío Department Department in Andean Region, Colombia

Quindío is a department of Colombia. It is in the western central region of the country, crossed by the Andes mountains. Its capital is Armenia. It is famous for the quality of the coffee plantations, colorful architecture, benign weather, variety of hotel accommodations and tourist landmarks. This department is located in a strategic area, in the center of the triangle formed by the three main cities of the country: Bogotá, Medellín and Cali. Quindío is the second-smallest Colombian department with 12 municipalities. Ethnographically and culturally it belongs to the Paisa region.

Eruptive history

Holocene activity has included explosive eruptions ranging in size from moderate to plinian. The last major eruption took place about 3600 years ago. Lava dome growth has produced block and ash flows that traveled primarily to the NE and SE. Minor explosive eruptions have been recorded from Tolima in the 19th and 20th centuries. [1]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Nevado del Tolima". Global Volcanism Program . Smithsonian Institution . Retrieved 2007-01-19.
  2. Plancha 225, 1998
  3. González, 2001

Bibliography