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Mendoza, Argentina

Liaudat D.T.,Geocryology | Penas P.,Comision Nacional de la Energia Atomica | Aloy G.,Geocryology

Soil temperatures of the active Volcanic Complex Peteroa situated in the Cordillera Principal between Chile and Argentina at 35°15' S and 70°35' W (approximately) were monitored in the area, and local geomorphology (periglacial geomorphology, presence of permafrost, and cryoforms) was studied. The present contribution also resulted in a comparison of two consecutive analyses of the volcano peak carried out with special thermocameras (AGEMA TVH 550, FUR P660) in order to study the thermal range of different hot and cold sites selected in 2009. The thermocameras were used ascending by foot and also during flights with a Cessna 180. A night expedition to the volcanic avalanche caldera, at up to 3900. m. asl (approximately), completed the monitoring activity of 2010. Hot zones were associated to present volcanism and cold zones to the presence of glacier ice and shadowy slopes with possible presence of permafrost. Identifying and mapping uncovered and covered ice was possible with the help of monitoring and geomorphological interpretation related to the upper englacement, which is severely affected by volcanism. Glaciers are retreating toward the north or approaching the rims of the volcanic avalanche caldera leaving islands of ice associated with superficial permafrost. The cryogenic area with slope permafrost was identified through active protalus and sedimentary cryogenic slopes. Craters have undergone considerable thermal changes in comparison to the year 2009; and new, much more vigorous fumaroles have appeared in hot areas detected in 2009 following a tendency toward the west. New subaquatic heat columns that appeared in crater 3, crater walls, and glaciated areas vanished, supplying cold water and thus contributing to the formation of a new lake in crater 4. A possible post-seismic shift of the volcanic activity may provide geodynamical evidence of the changes registered in other areas after the earthquake of 27 February 2010. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

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