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Title: Records of volcanism and controls on volcanic processes in southern Chile
Author: Watt, Sebastian F. L.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis describes volcanic records from the Andean southern volcanic zone, based on the collection of field data between Calbuco and Puyuhuapi volcanic centres, with a particular focus on the Hualaihue peninsula, combined with existing records from the region as a whole. These data, extending the understanding of the volcanic history of southern Chile, are examined for evidence of spatial or temporal variability, which may be used to explore underlying controls on volcanic processes. All three volcanoes on the Hualaihue peninsula have been active in the Holocene. A large mafic scoria unit from Apagado is unusually primitive, providing a potential window into primary magma generation in the arc. Dynamically similar eruptions occurred at Hornopirén and widely along the regional scale Liquiñe-Ofqui fault zone (LOFZ). Although the Hualaihue centres are closely related, petrological evidence indicates a complex magmatic storage system. Effusive activity is predominant at Yate and Hornopirén, and the tephrostratigraphy of the Hualaihue area is dominated by units from Calbuco volcano, to the north. The 2008 eruption of Chaitén provided an analogue for past large explosive eruptions in the region, with tephra deposition reflecting variable eruption intensity in a changing wind field. The regional tectonic setting and the LOFZ influence dyke ascent, volcano morphology and, as demonstrated at Yate, edifice stability, determining the orientation of collapse. Explosive eruption records over the post-glacial period also indicate a limited response of volcanism to deglaciation, suggesting a control on magma storage arising from changing crustal stress regimes, both at the arc front and along the LOFZ. On short timescales, large earthquakes are shown to influence eruption rate across the arc, implying a triggering role for dynamic seismic stresses. This work demonstrates the existence of a range of external forces affecting Chilean arc volcanism, but the degree to which these are quantifiable is strongly constrained by the quality of the available data.
Supervisor: Pyle, David ; Mather, Tamsin Sponsor: NERC ; Worcester College ; Abbey-Santander Fund ; Burdett-Coutts Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Earth sciences ; Andes ; southern volcanic zone ; Chile ; volcano ; Hualaihue