Dynamic implications of ridges on a debris avalanche deposit at Tutupaca volcano (southern Peru)
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Catastrophic volcanic landslides can involve different parts of a volcano that can be incorporated into any resulting debris avalanche. The different material properties may influence the mechanical behaviour and, hence, the emplacement mechanisms of the different avalanche units. We present data from a coupled hydrothermal- and magmatic-related volcanic landslide at Tutupaca volcano (Peru). Around ad 1802, the hydrothermal system under Tutupaca’s growing dacite dome failed, creating a debris avalanche that triggered a large explosive eruption. A typical debris avalanche hummocky unit is found, formed out of rock from the dome foot and the underlying hydrothermally altered lavas. It is covered by a more widespread and remarkable deposit that contains remnants of the hot dome core and the inner hydrothermal material. This deposit has ridges 20–500-m long, 10–30-m wide and 1–5-m high, regularly spaced and that fan slightly outward. Cross sections exposed within the ridges reveal coarser cores and finer troughs, suggesting grain size segregation during emplacement. Ridge morphology and granulometry are consistent with fingering known to occur in granular flows. The ridges are also associated with large blocks that have evidence of differential movement compared with the rest of the flowing mass. The presence of both ridged and hummocky deposits in the same event shows that, as different lithologies combine and collapse sequentially, materials with different mechanical properties can coexist in one landslide, leading to contrasting emplacement dynamics. The different structures thus highlight the complexity of such hazardous volcanic events and show the difficulty we face with modelling them.
KeywordsTutupaca volcano Debris avalanche Flank collapse Ridges Granular fingering
This work is part of a Peruvian–French cooperation programme carried out between the Instituto Geológico, Minero y Metalúrgico (INGEMMET) and the French Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). It was partially founded by the JEAI project financed by the IRD. This research was also supported by the French Government Laboratory of Excellence initiative n°ANR-10-LABX-0006, the Région Auvergne and the European Regional Development Fund. This is Laboratory of Excellence ClerVolc contribution n° 186. We thank the constructive reviews of A. Dufresne, an anonymous reviewer, and the Associate Editor L. Capra.
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