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Advances in scientific understanding of the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes: a review of contributing factors

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The Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes (CVZA) has been the focus of volcanological research for decades, becoming a very important site to understand a number of volcanic processes. Despite most of the research in the CVZA being carried out by foreign scientists, the last two decades have seen a significant increase in contributions by regional researchers. This surge has been facilitated by the creation of new volcanic observatories, improvement of the monitoring networks, creation of postgraduate programs where new local volcanologists are trained, creation of specialized research nuclei or groups, and increasing investment in research. This article presents a review of the evolution of the contributions of the regional volcanological community to the knowledge of the CVZA in the last 20 years (2000–2019), both from research and monitoring institutions in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. Based on updates made by the regional groups, a new list of active/potentially active volcanoes of the CVZA is presented, as is a complete database for article published on the CVZA. We find that a significant motivator has been regional volcanic unrest that has triggered new investment. Perú is the country with the highest investment in monitoring and research and is the best instrumented, Argentina is the country with the highest number of local participation in published papers in the domain of volcanology and magmatic systems, and Chilean volcanoes are the focus of the highest number of articles published. The current situation and general projections for the next decade (2020–2030) are also presented for each country, where we believe that the over the next 10 years, will be increased the monitoring and research capabilities, improved the scientific knowledge with more participation of regional institutions, and strengthen the collaboration and integrated work between CVZA countries, especially in border volcanoes.


La Zona Volcánica Central de los Andes (ZVCA) ha sido uno de los focos principales de la investigación en volcanología, transformándose en un sitio muy importante para entender una gran diversidad de procesos volcánicos. Aunque la mayoría de la investigación que se ha realizado en la ZVCA ha sido llevada a cabo por investigadores extranjeros, en las últimas dos décadas se ha observado un significativo incremento en las contribuciones realizadas por investigadores locales. Lo anterior ha sido consecuencia de la creación de nuevos observatorios volcanológicos, mejoramiento de las redes de monitoreo, creación de programas de postgrado donde nuevos volcanólogos locales han sido formados, creación de núcleos y grupos de investigación, y por el incremento de la inversión en investigación. Este artículo presenta una revisión de la evolución de las contribuciones de la comunidad volcanológica local al conocimiento de la ZVCA en los últimos 20 años (2000–2019), tanto desde las instituciones de investigación como de monitoreo en Perú, Bolivia, Argentina y Chile. En base a las actualizaciones realizadas por grupos regionales, se presenta una nueva lista de volcanes activos y potencialmente activos de la ZVCA, además de una completa base de datos de artículos publicados acerca de la ZVCA. Algunas de las razones más importantes que han motivado una mayor inversión en volcanología a nivel regional han sido algunos episodios de perturbaciones y erupciones volcánicas. Perú es el país con la mayor inversión en monitoreo e investigación, además de ser el país mejor instrumentado, Argentina es el país que cuenta con el mayor número de participantes locales en artículos publicados en el área de volcanología y sistemas magmáticos, y los volcanes chilenos son el foco del mayor número de artículos publicados. También presentamos la situación actual y las proyecciones para la siguiente década (2020-2030) en cada país de la ZVCA, donde creemos que en los siguientes 10 años, se incrementarán las capacidades de monitoreo e investigación, se mejorará el conocimiento científico con mayor participación de instituciones regionales, y se reforzará la colaboración y el trabajo integrado entre los países de la ZVCA, especialmente en el caso de los volcanes fronterizos.

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Our acknowledgements to Sebastian García (OAVV-SEGEMAR) by the information provided related to OAVV. Information related to OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN was obtained from SERNAGEOMIN webpage and Chilean Government Transparency webpage. Our acknowledgments to two anonymous reviewers, to the editor (Dr. Katharine Cashman), and executive editor (Dr. Andrew Harris) by their comments, which helped to improve the original manuscript.

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Correspondence to Felipe Aguilera.

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Editorial responsibility: K.V. Cashman

This paper constitutes part of a topical collection: Looking Backwards and Forwards in Volcanology: A Collection of Perspectives on the Trajectory of a Science

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Aguilera, F., Apaza, F., Del Carpio, J. et al. Advances in scientific understanding of the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes: a review of contributing factors. Bull Volcanol 84, 22 (2022).

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