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Abstract

The Cerro Galan caldera, north-west Argentina, is one of the world's largest resurgent calderas but was not recognized as such until the advent of spacecraft imagery1,2. Here we present some initial results of the first scientific expedition to the caldera that was formed during a major eruption 2.5 Myr ago during which 1,000 km3 of ignimbrite was erupted. The pre-welding thickness of ignimbrite within the resurgent part of the caldera was 2km. The ignimbrite is fine grained and lacks large pumice and lithic clasts. An underlying plinian air fall pumice deposit is absent. The wide dispersal of the ignimbrite suggests an unusually violent eruption, perhaps initiated by subsidence of the caldera floor into the magma chamber.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Earth Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK

    • P. W. Francis
    • , L. O'Callaghan
    • , G. A. Kretzschmar
    •  & R. S. Thorpe
  2. Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Place, Cambridge B2 3EQ, UK

    • R. S. J. Sparks
  3. Servicio Geologico Nacional, Av. Santa Fe 1548, 1060 Buenos Aires, Argentina

    • R. N. Page
    •  & R. E. de Barrio
  4. Servicio Minero Nacional, Miguel Lillo 205, 4000 San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina

    • G. Gillou
    •  & O. E. Gonzalez

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https://doi.org/10.1038/301051a0

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