Solimana (volcano)

Last updated
Solimana
Solimana volcano.jpg
Highest point
Elevation 6,093 m (19,990 ft) [1]
Coordinates 15°24′36″S72°53′35″W / 15.41000°S 72.89306°W / -15.41000; -72.89306 Coordinates: 15°24′36″S72°53′35″W / 15.41000°S 72.89306°W / -15.41000; -72.89306
Geography
Peru physical map.svg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Solimana
Peru
Location Arequipa Region
Parent range Andes

Solimana [2] [3] is a volcanic massif in the Andes of Peru, South America, that is approximately 6,093 metres (19,990 ft) high. [4] It is considered an extinct volcano that is part of the Central Volcanic Zone, one of the volcanic belts of the Andes. It features a caldera as well as traces of a sector collapse and subsequent erosion. The volcano is glaciated.

Volcano A rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface

A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface.

Andes Mountain range in South America

The Andes or Andean Mountains are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America. The Andes also have the 2nd most elevated highest peak of any mountain range, only behind the Himalayas. The range is 7,000 km (4,300 mi) long, 200 to 700 km wide, and has an average height of about 4,000 m (13,000 ft). The Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.

Peru Republic in South America

Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.

Contents

Geomorphology and geography

Regional

It is situated in the Arequipa Region, Condesuyos Province, in the districts of Chichas and Salamanca, and in the La Unión Province, in the districts of Cotahuasi and Toro. [5] Several towns lie around the volcano. [6]

Condesuyos Province Province in Arequipa, Peru

Condesuyos Province is one of eight provinces in the Arequipa Region of Peru. Its seat is Chuquibamba.

Chichas District is one of eight districts of the province Condesuyos in Peru.

Salamanca District is one of eight districts of the province Condesuyos in Peru.

Solimana is part of the Peruvian segment of the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes. The Central Volcanic Zone in this segment has both generated large composite volcanoes which rise 2–3 kilometres (1.2–1.9 mi) above their basement and monogenetic volcanoes and volcanic fields. This zone of volcanoes includes, from northwest to southeast, Sara Sara, Solimana, Coropuna, Andagua volcanic field, Huambo volcanic field, Ampato, Sabancaya, Cerro Nicholson, Chachani, Misti, Ubinas, Huaynaputina, Ticsani, and Tutupaca, some of which have been active during historical time. [7]

A monogenetic volcanic field is a type of volcanic field consisting of a group of small monogenetic volcanoes, each of which erupts only once, as opposed to polygenetic volcanoes, which erupt repeatedly over a period of time. Many monogenetic volcanoes are cinder cones, often with lava flows, such as Parícutin in the Michoacán-Guanajuato volcanic field, which erupted from 1943 to 1952. Some monogenetic volcanoes are small lava shields, such as Rangitoto Island in the Auckland volcanic field. Other monogenetic volcanoes are tuff rings or maars. A monogenetic field typically contains between ten and a hundred volcanoes. The Michoacán-Guanajuato field in Mexico contains more than a thousand volcanoes and is much larger than usual.

Volcanic field Area of the Earths crust prone to localized volcanic activity

A volcanic field is an area of the Earth's crust that is prone to localized volcanic activity. They usually contain 10 to 100 volcanoes such as cinder cones and are usually in clusters. Lava flows may also occur. They may occur as a monogenetic volcanic field or a polygenetic volcanic field.

Sara Sara volcano in Peru

Sara Sara is a 5,505-metre-high (18,061 ft) volcano lying between Lake Parinacochas and Ocoña River in Peru. It is situated in the Parinacochas Province, Puyusca District, and in the Paucar del Sara Sara Province, in the districts of Pausa and Sara Sara.

Local

Solimana rises above an approximately 4-kilometre (2.5 mi) high basement. [8] It has a caldera, [9] which gives it an asymmetric appearance; further on the south flank both the basement and inner parts of the edifice crop out. This asymmetry was caused by large sector collapses and subsequent erosion of the southern flank. [8] The main edifice is formed by a compound volcano accompanied by lava domes and lava flows as well as pyroclastic flows and lahars, the latter relating to the formation of the collapse structure. [10]

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.

A sector collapse is the collapse of a portion of a volcano due to a phreatic eruption, an earthquake, or the intervention of new magma. Occurring on many volcanoes, sector collapses are generally one of the most hazardous volcanic events, and will often create lateral blasts.

Lava dome Roughly circular protrusion from slowly extruded viscous volcanic lava

In volcanology, a lava dome or volcanic dome is a roughly circular mound-shaped protrusion resulting from the slow extrusion of viscous lava from a volcano. Dome-building eruptions are common, particularly in convergent plate boundary settings. Around 6% of eruptions on earth are lava dome forming. The geochemistry of lava domes can vary from basalt to rhyolite although the majority are of intermediate composition The characteristic dome shape is attributed to high viscosity that prevents the lava from flowing very far. This high viscosity can be obtained in two ways: by high levels of silica in the magma, or by degassing of fluid magma. Since viscous basaltic and andesitic domes weather fast and easily break apart by further input of fluid lava, most of the preserved domes have high silica content and consist of rhyolite or dacite.

Solimana has a high relief reaching approximately 2,000 metres (6,600 ft), [11] the consequence of glacial erosion. [9] Neighbouring canyons have begun to incise the edifice. [12] The Cotahuasi Canyon runs north of Solimana, and the southern flank is drained by numerous quebradas. [6]

Canyon Deep ravine between cliffs

A canyon or gorge is a deep cleft between escarpments or cliffs resulting from weathering and the erosive activity of a river over geologic timescales. Rivers have a natural tendency to cut through underlying surfaces, eventually wearing away rock layers as sediments are removed downstream. A river bed will gradually reach a baseline elevation, which is the same elevation as the body of water into which the river drains. The processes of weathering and erosion will form canyons when the river's headwaters and estuary are at significantly different elevations, particularly through regions where softer rock layers are intermingled with harder layers more resistant to weathering.

Cotahuasi Canyon Cotahuasi Canyon

Cotahuasi Canyon near the city of Arequipa in Peru is one of the deepest canyons in the world. The canyon is an impressive chasm that the river has eroded between two enormous mountain massifs: the Coropuna and the Solimana. One extends from spurs of the snow-covered Solimana to the confluence with the Ocoña river. Cotahuasi Canyon was cut by the Rio Cotahuasi, a tributary of the Rio Ocoña, to a depth of approximately 3354 meters - over twice the depth of the Grand Canyon.

During the last glacial maximum a number of glaciers developed on Solimana, the longest of which occupied the Quebrada Caño on the northern flank [9] and reached 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) length. [13] There have been approximately five episodes of glaciation on Solimana in total. [14] Later glaciations after the Last Glacial maximum emplaced conspicuous moraines, which are well preserved by the arid climate. Presently, glaciers are restricted to a valley on the northern slope and the steep southeastern flank; [9] a report in 1992 indicated the presence of an ice cap covering a surface of 50 square kilometres (19 sq mi). [8] In addition, rock glaciers are present on Solimana. [15]

Glacier Persistent body of ice that is moving under its own weight

A glacier is a persistent body of dense ice that is constantly moving under its own weight; it forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries. Glaciers slowly deform and flow due to stresses induced by their weight, creating crevasses, seracs, and other distinguishing features. They also abrade rock and debris from their substrate to create landforms such as cirques and moraines. Glaciers form only on land and are distinct from the much thinner sea ice and lake ice that form on the surface of bodies of water.

Rock glacier Landform of angular rock debris frozen in interstitial ice, former "true" glaciers overlain by a layer of talus, or something in between

Rock glaciers are distinctive geomorphological landforms, consisting either of angular rock debris frozen in interstitial ice, former "true" glaciers overlain by a layer of talus, or something in-between. Rock glaciers may extend outward and downslope from talus cones, glaciers or terminal moraines of glaciers.

Geology

The Nazca Plate subducts beneath the South America Plate at a rate of 61 ± 3 millimetres per year (2.40 ± 0.12 in/year); it has slowed down since the Oligocene. This subduction process is responsible for the formation of the Andes mountains in the region. [16]

Together with Sara Sara and Coropuna, Solimana is located on the northwestern end of the Central Volcanic Zone; no volcanism occurs farther north where the Nazca Plate subducts at a shallower angle than beneath the Central Volcanic Zone. [1] Of these volcanoes, Solimana is considered to be the oldest and Coropuna the youngest. [8] Solimana together with Ampato and Coropuna form the Cordillera Ampato. [17]

The basement dates back to the Precambrian-Paleozoic and is buried beneath several pre-Oligocene formations. The Tacaza formation forms a Miocene-Oligocene layer of volcanic and sedimentary rocks that are overlain by Quaternary volcanoes, which include the Barroso Group formation and the Pliocene Sencca formation. [8]

Composition

Samples taken from Solimana are andesite and dacite, but more recently basaltic andesite was erupted as well. [18] The rocks contain hornblende, hypersthene, and plagioclase, [19] with additional olivine in the phreatomagmatic deposits. [18]

The geochemistry of volcanoes of the Central Volcanic Zone typically displays strong evidence of crustal contamination, which is attributed to the thick crust that has developed in this region. [16] A granulitic basement may be a plausible origin of this contamination, [20] with additional contribution of subducted sediments. [21]

Vegetation

Llareta and ichu grass form the thin vegetation up to about 5,000 metres (16,000 ft) altitude. [9]

Archeology

The Inca considered Solimana and Coropuna to be sacred mountains. [22]

In 2008, an Inca archeological site was discovered on Solimana's eastern flank, in the locality of Minticocha. The site most likely served religious and ceremonial purposes. According to colonial period sources, Solimana is the site of a major oracle, but this oracle is more likely to be located at Muyu Muyu close to the town of Yanque than at Minticocha. [23]

Eruption history

Solimana is an extinct volcano. It was active during the Miocene and Pliocene between 4 and 1.5 million years ago, [8] with the last eruption occurring between 500,000 and 300,000 years ago. [11] The collapses occurred at some time between 3.05 and 1.5 million years ago and after the collapse volcanism became centered inside the collapse scar and its margins, with the youngest activity forming phreatomagmatic deposits within the caldera and a scoria cone on its south. [10]

Solimana may be the source of the Lomas pyroclastic flow deposit and the Upper Sencca ignimbrite. [24] The Upper Sencca ignimbrite was erupted between 1.76 and 2.09 million years ago and filled several valleys with 13–32 cubic kilometres (3.1–7.7 cu mi) of material, while the Lomas deposit was erupted between 1.56 and 1.26 million years ago. [25] Solimana still features fumarolic activity within the caldera. [10]

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References

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  11. 1 2 Bromley, Gordon R.M.; Hall, Brenda L.; Rademaker, Kurt M.; Todd, Claire E.; Racovteanu, Adina E. (1 March 2011). "Late Pleistocene snowline fluctuations at Nevado Coropuna (15°S), southern Peruvian Andes". Journal of Quaternary Science. 26 (3): 306. doi:10.1002/jqs.1455. ISSN   1099-1417.
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  25. Thouret, Jean-Claude; Jicha, Brian R.; Paquette, Jean-Louis; Cubukcu, Evren H. (1 September 2016). "A 25 myr chronostratigraphy of ignimbrites in south Peru: implications for the volcanic history of the Central Andes". Journal of the Geological Society. 173 (5): 750–751. doi:10.1144/jgs2015-162. ISSN   0016-7649.