Bulletin of Volcanology

, 81:71 | Cite as

El Escondido tuff cone (38 ka): a hidden history of monogenetic eruptions in the northernmost volcanic chain in the Colombian Andes

  • L. Sánchez-TorresEmail author
  • A. Toro
  • H. Murcia
  • C. Borrero
  • R. Delgado
  • J. Gómez-Arango
Research Article


El Escondido is a dacitic monogenetic volcano situated in the Samaná monogenetic volcanic field, within the Central Cordillera of Colombia. The tuff cone was emplaced in a deeply incised and rainy mountainous zone, ca. 38 ky ago by an explosive eruption that affected not only the metamorphic and igneous basement but also the remnants of the ~ 154 ka Pela Huevos volcano. The El Escondido volcaniclastic deposits are composed of juvenile pumice and lithic fragments including dense volcanic rocks from the Pela Huevos volcano, as well as metamorphic and igneous rocks from the basement. The pumice shows tubes and spongy textures. The volcanic lithics are dominantly angular and fresh, and exhibit different mineralogy and whole-rock geochemistry in comparison to the pumice. Plagioclase and amphibole are ubiquitous; however, biotite and quartz crystals occur only in the pumice fragments (~ 70 wt% SiO2 volatile-free), whereas olivine and pyroxene crystals are only found in the volcanic lithics (~ 65 wt% SiO2 volatile-free). The El Escondido tuff cone is strongly eroded and Pela Huevos is a dome-like remnant in the SE sector. Because of this, along with the highly vegetated tropical zone where the volcanoes are emplaced as well as difficult political issues in the region, the edifices were not recognized until recently; this is why the younger cone was named “El Escondido” (which means “The Hidden”). These eruptions evidence that recent volcanism has occurred in a zone of the Central Cordillera that has been considered as non-volcanogenic in recent studies.


Samaná monogenetic volcanic field Flat slab volcanism Pre-existent eroded volcano Silicic monogenetic volcanism Recently discovered volcanoes 



This work was performed at the Instituto de Investigaciones en Estratigrafía (IIES), Universidad de Caldas. The Vicerrectoría de Investigaciones y Posgrados from the same university provided funds through the Semillero de Investigación en Vulcanología as part of the Grupo de Investigación en Estratigrafía y Vulcanología (GIEV) Cumanday. The Parque Natural Nacional Selva de Florencia supported the field work, while the Alcaldia de Samaná provided funds for the radiocarbon dating. Dario Pedrazzi, two anonymous reviewers, and associate editor P.-S. Ross made helpful suggestions on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© International Association of Volcanology & Chemistry of the Earth's Interior 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Investigaciones en Estratigrafía (IIES)Universidad de CaldasManizalesColombia
  2. 2.Maestría en Ciencias de la TierraUniversidad de CaldasManizalesColombia
  3. 3.Programa de GeologíaUniversidad de CaldasManizalesColombia
  4. 4.Departamento de Ciencias GeológicasUniversidad de CaldasManizalesColombia
  5. 5.Grupo de Investigación en Estratigrafía y Vulcanología, GIEV CumandayManizalesColombia
  6. 6.Posgrado en Ciencias de la TierraUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxico CityMexico

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