Environmental impacts of Quaternary eruptions in the Central Andes: modeling for the prevention of the effects of future eruptions

Many volcanic eruptions have occurred during the Quaternary in the Andes and particularly in the area of northern Argentina and Chile with the generation of environmental impacts of diverse magnitude. QUECA Project is addressed to the analysis of the environmental impact of Quaternary eruptions of the central Andes, with particular consideration of the Holocene events by the involvement of men, to extract patterns to model the prediction and prevention of the effects of future eruptions in environment, focusing on its geographic and temporal scope. The average rate is about one eruption per year  in the Southern Cone. Project is focused in  the most factible scenarios, including those that have a local impact, effusive (lava fields that can affect human sttlemensts and agricultural fields and water courses, by deviation or interruption), and regional impacts due to explosive eruptions (ash deposits).

Results confirm the existence of three major rhyo¬litic eruptive events during Holocene in the southern Puna and neighbouring areas, and provide a more complete picture of the style, frequency, distribution, and size of past explosive eruptions in the region. The Cerro Blanco Volcanic Complex is demonstrated as source of the 4.2 ka cal BP pyroclastic deposits, whereas Cueros de Purulla volcano is suggested as the origin of the Lower Holocene pyroclastic deposits, and the Nevado Tres Cruces Volcanic Complex is the strongest candidate for the source of the Upper Holocene pyroclastic deposits found in the Bolsón de Fiambalá basin.

More information

Fernandez-Turiel, J.L, Perez-Torrado, F.J., Rodriguez-Gonzalez, A., Saavedra, J.C., Carracedo, J.C., Rejas, M., Lobo, A., Osterrieth, M., Carrizo, J.I., Esteban, G., Gallardo, J., Ratto, N.(2019). The large eruption 4.2 ka cal BP in Cerro Blanco, Central Volcanic Zone, Andes: Insights to the Holocene eruptive deposits in the southern Puna and adjacent regions. Estudios Geológicos 75(1): e088. https://doi.org/10.3989/egeol.43438.515

  • Jose-Luis Fernandez-Turiel, ICTJA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain, Project Leader
  • Julio Saavedra Alonso, IRNASA-CSIC, Salamanca, Spain
  • Juan Carlos Carracedo Gómez, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
  • Francisco José Pérez Torrado, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
  • Alejandro Rodríguez González, ICTJA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
  • Juan F. Gallardo Lancho, IRNASA-CSIC, Salamanca, Spain
  • Agustín Lobo Aleu, ICTJA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
  • Marta Rejas Alejos, ICTJA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
  • Luis Dante Martínez, Universidad Nacional de San Luis, Argentina
  • Raúl Andrés Gil, Universidad de San Luis, Argentina
  • Griselda Galindo, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Graciela Esteban, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina
  • Julieta Carrizo, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina
  • Margarita Osterreith, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina


  • Funding

    Project Financed by PNIDI CGL: CGL2011-23307


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