Tacora in 2004
|Elevation||5,980 m (19,620 ft)|
|Prominence||1,700 m (5,600 ft)|
|Volcanic arc/belt||Central Volcanic Zone|
Tacora is a stratovolcano located in the Andes of the Arica y Parinacota Region of Chile. Bordering Peru, it is the northernmost volcano of Chile. It is part of the Central Volcanic Zone in Chile, one of the four volcanic belts of the Andes. The Central Volcanic Zone has several of the highest volcanoes in the world. Tacora itself is a stratovolcano with a caldera and a crater. The youngest radiometric age is 50,000 years ago and it is heavily eroded by glacial activity.
Volcanism in the Central Volcanic Zone results from the subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the South America Plate. Tacora is constructed on the so-called "Arica Altiplano" and is part of a north–south alignment of volcanoes. Tacora itself has uncertain reports of historical eruptions and there are active fumaroles.
The fumarolic activity has resulted in the emplacement of substantial deposits of sulfur, which were already mentioned centuries ago. Towards the latter 19th century, systematic mining of the sulfur deposits of Tacora occurred and substantial mining infrastructure was constructed on the mountain.
Tacora lies in the Arica y Parinacota Region of Chile, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) northeast of Arica. It is the northernmost volcano of Chile and poorly known.
Tacora is part of the Central Volcanic Zone,one out of several volcanic belts of the Andes. The Central Volcanic Zone is one of the world's major volcanic provinces and features both a high density of volcanoes and some of the tallest volcanic edifices in the world. Volcanoes in the Central Volcanic Zone include Sabancaya, El Misti and Ubinas in Peru and Tacora, Isluga, Irruputuncu, Ollague, San Pedro, Putana, Alitar, Lascar and Lastarria in Chile, Bolivia and Argentina; there are about 34 volcanoes in the Chilean portion of the Central Volcanic Zone alone. Of these Lascar is considered to be the most active, with a large eruption in 1993. Aside from volcanoes, the Central Volcanic Zone also features geothermal fields such as El Tatio.
The volcano is a 5,980 metres (19,620 ft) high cone with a summit caldera that opens northwest and a 500-metre (1,600 ft) wide crater below the summit within the caldera scarp. Steep lava flows form the bulk of the edifice, along with lava domes and pyroclastic material, and rise about 1.7 kilometres (1.1 mi) above the surrounding terrain. The edifice is heavily eroded with about 32 metres (105 ft) of rocks gone but still has a circular shape, and there are traces of a sector collapse scar and of the resulting debris avalanche on the southeastern flank.
According to some reports glaciers occur within the caldera at elevations above 5,500 metres (18,000 ft), while other reports indicate the absence of perennial snow on the mountain. Glacial valleys and moraines have been recognized on the eastern, southeastern and southern slopes of the volcano, and cirques have been found at 5,000 metres (16,000 ft) elevation. These landforms suggest that the mountain was formerly glaciated. Three sets of moraines have been described, one at 4,400 metres (14,400 ft) elevation possibly linked to the last glacial maximum, an older one at 4,500 metres (14,800 ft) elevation and a third at 4,900 metres (16,100 ft) elevation which may have formed during the Little Ice Age; moraines reach thicknesses of 200 metres (660 ft). There is an additional set of moraines at 4,350–4,300 metres (14,270–14,110 ft) elevation that has been correlated to pre-last glacial maximum glaciations, as well as traces of ice cored moraines and rock glaciers. Some rock glaciers still exist; unlike other glacial bodies in Chile the fronts of rock glaciers on Tacora are not retreating.
The mountain is an important source of water for the region.The Lluta River originates on Tacora, and its waters are highly salty owing to their origin on the volcano. The Chislluma River flows past the northeastern flank of Tacora and the Rio Caracarani past the southeastern one; finally, the Mauri Canal and Uchusuma Canal run along the southeastern slopes.
On the western and northwestern flanks, solfataras are present 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) southwest of the volcano. Further, geyserite cones indicate that geysers were formerly active on the volcano. Seismic tomography has been used to image both the hydrothermal systems and magma systems of the volcano, and Tacora has been prospected for geothermal power generation. In 2009, the Chilean Ministry of Mining recorded bids for geothermal development at Tacora, and one bid was approved by the Ministry in early 2010.both in the form of fumaroles and of steaming ground, and the Aguas Calientes de Tacora hot springs are located
Fumarole gases are dominated by water vapour with other components including carbon dioxide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen and sulfur dioxide. Hydrogen, methane and other hydrocarbons are also common in the exhalations. The temperatures of the fumaroles reach 82–93 °C (180–199 °F) and daily sulfur dioxide emissions have been estimated to be 0.01–0.02 tonnes per day (0.12–0.23 g/s) in the major fumaroles.
The fumarolic gases are interpreted to originate by the evaporation of an aquifer that is saturated by solfataric components, resulting both in the exhalation of gases and the development of acid hot springs. This aquifer is mostly replenished by precipitation and to a lesser degree by magmatic water. 270–310 °C (518–590 °F) under the volcano that fumarolic gases pass through, and a magma system between sea level and 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) of depth. Overall, fumarolic gases at Tacora undergo substantial interaction with rocks and hydrothermal systems before they reach the surface. A cluster of seismic activity below the eastern flank may also be correlated to a fluid system at depth.Further, there appears to be a hydrothermal system with temperatures of
Subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the South America Plate is responsible for the volcanism of the Andes. This volcanism does not occur along the entire strike of the Andes, but in three selected volcanic belts, the Northern Volcanic Zone, the Central Volcanic Zone and the Southern Volcanic Zone. A fourth volcanic zone, the Austral Volcanic Zone, lies south of the Southern Volcanic Zone.These volcanically active belts are separated by gaps where recent volcanism is absent and the subducting plate descends in a much shallower angle.
Volcanoes of the Peruvian Central Volcanic Zone generally occur within a narrow belt and are usually associated with normal faults. 1,500–3,000 metres (4,900–9,800 ft) high above their basement and consist of lava flows and pyroclastics. Old edifices are far more common in Chile than in Peru, and are especially rare in the northwestern part of Peru's volcanic zone; this may be the consequence of climatic factors or a later start of volcano-building activity in Peru. About 17 volcanoes are fumarolically active in northern Chile, with igneous activity limited to about 6.Most edifices are between
The earliest volcanic activity in northern Chile occurred between 41 and 66 million years ago, and is linked to an ancient volcanic arc.Later during the Miocene two separate but partially overlapping volcanic episodes occurred, the first of which was dominated by the emplacement of ignimbrites and the second by the growth composite volcanoes, with vigorous activity during the Pliocene and Pleistocene.
The basement beneath Tacora is formed by the Arica Altiplano, a formation lying at about 4,200 metres (13,800 ft) altitude that consists of various sedimentary and volcanic rocks of Pliocene to Pleistocene age. Tacora together with Chupiquiña, Nevado El Fraile and Nevado La Monja forms a 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) long alignment of volcanoes that crosses into Peru and extends from south to north. In addition, a fault system known as the Challaviento reverse fault passes underneath the volcano; it also extends into Peru where it belongs to the active Incapuquio–Challaviento fault system.
The volcano is composed of dacite and lesser amounts of andesitein the form of pyroclastic material and lava flows; the latter are predominantly andesitic to basaltic andesite. Minerals contained in the lava flows are biotite, hornblende, olivine, plagioclase and both orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene; alteration has led to the formation of clays. The volcanic rocks are subdivided into two units, an andesitic-dacitic one that forms the bulk of the volcano dacitic lava dome.
Tacora was active during the Pleistocene and Holocene epochsless than 700,000 years ago, with one rock sample dated by potassium-argon dating giving an age of 490,000 years before present, an age often given to the entire volcano, as well as another of 50,000 years before present on the upper western flank. Other dating efforts have yielded ages of 340,000 ± 60,000 and 363,000 ± 7,000 years ago. The crater and lava flows on the southern flank are probably the most recent manifestations of volcanic activity.
The volcano supposedly "collapsed" in the 1877 Iquique earthquake, according to secondhand information in a 1903 report on earthquakes in Chile.Single reports of activity in 1930, 1937 and 1950 exist, but the volcano is considered to have no historic eruptions, with fumaroles and seismicity the only ongoing activity.
Sulfur is found between Tacora and Chupiquiña, and it has been quarried on the northwestern flank. 0.2–0.3 square kilometres (0.077–0.116 sq mi) in the crater and on the northern and eastern slopes. Fumarolic activity is to this day producing new sulfur deposits, and some sulfur deposits may have been originally emplaced as liquid sulfur.Sulfur deposits on Tacora are among the largest in Chile, with thick layers of sulfur covering surfaces of
Such sulfur deposits are relatively common on volcanoes of northern Chile, with less common occurrence in the other volcanically active parts of the Chilean Andes;nearly all higher volcanoes in northern Chile are reported to host the mineral. The sulfur develops chiefly from hydrogen sulfide in steam, which precipitates the mineral in rock cavities. Sulfur deposits are typically accompanied by discoloured rocks, since the formation of the sulfur is usually associated with hydrothermal alteration of rock formations. These colours can be spotted from large distances. Aside from sulfur, such deposits commonly contain antimony, arsenic, selenium and tellurium; acid mine drainage occurs on the volcano and has resulted in pollution of the Azufre River within the Lluta River watershed.
The earliest records of the sulfur bodies on Tacora date back to 1637.Sulfur mining in Chile commenced in the late 19th century, driven by Peruvian, English and Chilean prospectors and because the world demand of sulfur by the chemical industry and for other uses increased substantially at that time. During the early 20th century, sulfur mining was widespread in northern Chile and of high global importance, a number of highly pure deposits of sulfur can be found in northern Chile from the Peruvian border south to the Puna de Atacama region.
A. Barrón, Filomeno Cerda, Luis Koch and Rosa Landaeta owned sulfur deposits on Tacora in 1897, and sulfur processing plants were installed in 1888 and 1900 close to Tacora. Several companies mined in the region, which later were sometimes taken over by foreign corporations. 2,000,000 tonnes (2,000,000 long tons; 2,200,000 short tons) at a minimum; in 1922 Tacora was considered the most important sulfur deposit of the Andes.A number of mines were active on Tacora volcano, with much of the mining infrastructure being present on the upper northwestern slopes of the mountain; this infrastructure includes cableways, offices, workers' camps and treatment plants both on the mountain and on its foot. The deposits were named Aguas Calientes, Ancara, Chislluma, Santa Elena and Villa Industrial, and the total sulfur ore deposits of Tacora in 1952 were estimated to be
Transport of sulfur occurred through a dedicated railroad down to Villa Industrial on the Arica-La Paz railway,which served the further transport of the sulfur to Arica, from where it was shipped to all of South America; only after the opening of this railway in 1913 was it possible to use the Tacora deposits to the fullest extent. It is worth noting that the 1929 border treaty between Peru and Chile had explicitly placed Tacora's sulfur deposits entirely within Chilean territory.
The workforce of the Tacora mines was largely indigenous in origin, seeing as only indigenous people were used to the extreme climate conditions on the upper slopes of Tacora. The mining operations also played an important political-cultural role, as they exemplified the imposition of a new, modern culture onto the region.
The religious worship of mountains is widespread in the Central Andes. In local belief, Tacora and Sajama were two mountains in competition for two women (the Nevados de Payachata). Depending on the specific myth either the two women drove Tacora off and removed the top of the mountain, or Sajama did and injured Tacora; Tacora subsequently fled, shedding blood and a piece of its heart.
The Astragalus species Astragalus tacorensis is named after the volcano, which is its type locality.The flowering plant Pycnophyllum macropetalum likewise has its type locality at Tacora.
Socompa is a large stratovolcano at the border of Argentina and Chile. Part of the Chilean and Argentine Andean Volcanic Belt (AVB), it is part of the Central Volcanic Zone, one of the various segments of the AVB. This part of the Andean volcanic arc begins in Peru and runs first through Bolivia and Chile, and then through Argentina and Chile, and contains about 44 active volcanoes. Socompa lies close to the pass of the same name, where the Salta-Antofagasta railway crosses the border.
Lascar is a stratovolcano within the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes, a volcanic arc that spans the countries of Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. It is the most active volcano in the region, with records of eruptions going back to 1848. It is composed of two separate cones with several summit craters. The westernmost crater of the eastern cone is presently active. Volcanic activity is characterized by constant release of volcanic gas and occasional vulcanian eruptions.
Isluga is a stratovolcano located in Colchane, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) west of the Chile-Bolivia border and at the west end of a group of volcanoes lined up in an east-west direction, which also includes the volcanoes Cabaray and Tata Sabaya. Isluga has an elongated summit area and lies within the borders of Volcán Isluga National Park in Chile's Tarapacá Region.
Aucanquilcha(pronounced: OW-kahn-KEEL-chuh) is a massive stratovolcano located in the Antofagasta Region of northern Chile, just west of the border with Bolivia and within the Alto Loa National Reserve. Part of the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes, the stratovolcano has the form of a ridge with a maximum height of 6,176 metres (20,262 ft). The volcano is embedded in a larger cluster of volcanoes known as the Aucanquilcha cluster. This cluster of volcanoes was formed in stages over eleven million years of activity with varying magma output, including lava domes and lava flows. Aucanquilcha volcano proper is formed from four units that erupted between 1.04–0.23 million years ago. During the ice ages, both the principal Aucanquilcha complex and the other volcanoes of the cluster were subject to glaciation, resulting in the formation of moraines and cirques.
Ollagüe or Ullawi is a massive andesite stratovolcano in the Andes on the border between Bolivia and Chile, within the Antofagasta Region of Chile and the Potosi Department of Bolivia. Part of the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes, its highest summit is 5,868 metres (19,252 ft) above sea level and features a summit crater that opens to the south. The western rim of the summit crater is formed by a compound of lava domes, the youngest of which features a vigorous fumarole that is visible from afar.
San Pedro is a Holocene composite volcano in northern Chile and one of the tallest active volcanoes in the world. Part of the Chilean Andes' volcanic segment, it is part of the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes, one of the four tracts of the Andean Volcanic Belt. This region of volcanism includes the world's two highest volcanoes Ojos del Salado and Llullaillaco. San Pedro, like other Andean volcanoes, was formed by the subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the South America Plate. It has a neighbouring volcano, San Pablo, and is itself formed by two separate edifices usually known as the Old Cone and the Young Cone. These edifices are formed by rocks ranging from basaltic andesite over andesite to dacite and are emplaced on a basement formed by Miocene volcanic rocks.
Taapaca is a Holocene volcanic complex in northern Chile's Arica y Parinacota Region. Located in the Chilean Andes, it is part of the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andean Volcanic Belt, one of four distinct volcanic chains in South America. The town of Putre lies at the southwestern foot of the volcano.
Cerros de Tocorpuri is a volcanic complex located along the border between Bolivia and Chile.
Putana, sometimes referred to as Jorqencal or Machuca, is a volcano on the border between Bolivia and Chile and close to the Sairecabur volcanic complex. Part of the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes, its summit is 5,890 metres (19,320 ft) above sea level and contains a summit crater with two smaller craters nested within it. Beneath the summit, the volcano features a number of lava domes and lava flows, some of which originated in flank vents.
Kunturiri is a volcano in the Andes on the border of Bolivia and Chile which rises up to 5,762 metres (18,904 ft). On the Chilean side it is located in the Arica and Parinacota Region and on the Bolivian side in the Oruro Department, Sajama Province, Curahuara de Carangas Municipality, Sajama Canton as well as in the La Paz Department, Pacajes Province, Calacoto Municipality, Ulloma Canton.
Choquelimpie is a 5,327 metres (17,477 ft) high volcano in Chile. It is constructed from several separate layers of andesite and dacite on top of Tertiary and Precambrian layers. The volcano was active over six million years ago, with the neighbouring volcano Ajoya active over seven million years ago. Since then, erosion and glacial activity have dramatically reduced the height of the volcano and excavated a central depression.
Guallatiri is a 6,071-metre (19,918 ft) high volcano in Chile. It is located southwest of the Nevados de Quimsachata volcanic group and is sometimes considered to be part of that group. It is a stratovolcano with numerous fumaroles around the summit. The summit may be composed of either a lava dome or a pyroclastic cone, while the lower flanks of the volcano are covered by lava flows and lava domes. The volcano's eruptions have produced mostly dacite along with andesite and rhyolite.
Irruputuncu is a volcano in the commune of Pica, Tamarugal Province, Tarapacá Region, Chile, as well as San Pedro de Quemes Municipality, Nor Lípez Province, Potosí Department, Bolivia. The mountain's summit is 5,163 m (16,939 ft) high and has two summit craters—the southernmost 200 m (660 ft)-wide one has active fumaroles. The volcano also features lava flows, block and ash flows and several lava domes. The volcano is part of the Andean Central Volcanic Zone (CVZ).
Lastarria is a stratovolcano that lies on the border between Chile and Argentina. It is part of the Central Volcanic Zone, one of the four segments of the volcanic arc of the Andes. Several volcanoes are located in this chain of volcanoes, which is formed by subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the South American Plate.
Olca-Paruma is a volcanic complex in Chile. Lying on the border between Chile and Bolivia, it is formed by an east-west alignment of volcanoes. From west to east, these are Cerro Paruma, Volcan Paruma, Olca, and Mencheca or Michincha. Aside from the mines of Ujina, Rosario, and Quebrada Blanca, the area is sparsely populated.
Puchuldiza is a geothermal field in the Tarapacá Region of Chile. It is part of the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes, close to the active volcano Isluga and several older volcanoes in the neighbourhood; the most recent activity from one of the neighbouring volcanoes was 900,000 ± 300,000 years ago. Geothermal features include geysers and hot springs. Puchuldiza has been inspected for the possibility that it may be suitable as a source for geothermal energy.
Sabancaya is an active 5,976-metre-high (19,606 ft) stratovolcano in the Andes of southern Peru, about 70 kilometres (43 mi) northwest of Arequipa. It is considered part of the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes, one of the three distinct volcanic belts of the Andes. The Central Volcanic Zone includes a number of volcanoes, some of which like Huaynaputina have had large eruptions and others such as Sabancaya and Ubinas have been active in historical time. Sabancaya forms a volcanic complex together with Hualca Hualca to the north and Ampato to the south and has erupted andesite and dacite. It is covered by a small ice cap which leads to a risk of lahars during eruptions.
Apacheta-Aguilucho volcanic complex is a volcanic complex in Chile. It consists of two volcanoes Cerro Apacheta and Cerro Aguilucho, which are constructed mainly by lava flows and surrounded by outcrops of lava. A sector collapse and its landslide deposit are located on Apacheta's eastern flank. Two lava domes are associated with the volcanic complex, Chac-Inca and Pabellón.
Tutupaca is a volcano in the region of Tacna in Peru. It is part of the Peruvian segment of the Central Volcanic Zone, one of several volcanic belts in the Andes. Tutupaca consists of three overlapping volcanoes formed by lava flows and lava domes made out of andesite and dacite, which grew on top of older volcanic rocks. The highest of these is usually reported to be 5,815 metres (19,078 ft) tall and was glaciated in the past.
Ubinas is a stratovolcano in the Moquegua Region of southern Peru, 60 kilometres (37 mi) east of the city of Arequipa. Part of the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes, it is 5,672 metres (18,609 ft) above sea level. The volcano's summit is cut by a 1.4-kilometre (0.87 mi) wide and 150-metre (490 ft) deep caldera, which itself contains a smaller crater. Below the summit, Ubinas has the shape of an upwards-steepening cone with a prominent notch on the southern side. The gently sloping lower part of the volcano is also known as Ubinas I and the steeper upper part as Ubinas II; they represent different stages in the geologic history of Ubinas.
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