The island of Socorro is located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, 650 km off the coast of Mexico. It is a rare example of an oceanic volcanic island whose above sea level volume is made up mostly of peralkaline trachytes and rhyolites, with subordinate mafic rocks. Subaerial volcanism started several hundred thousand years ago and continues until recent times. We present an investigation of surface and subsurface geology of the island, based on the first detailed extensive geophysical survey on the island. Acquired airborne magnetic and gamma-ray data were compared to existing geological information and supplemented with field investigations and satellite imagery. Magnetic data show a wide minimum in the central part of the island, possibly connected to a high-temperature zone in the deeper central portion of the volcano, likely to be due to a still hot magma body. The data also depict two parallel edges possibly suggesting the existence of a nested caldera. Analysis on upward continued magnetic data by recent imaging techniques highlighted two deep sources located around 5 km b.s.l., interpreted as feeding structures that are now filled with crystalline rocks. Gamma-ray data have been interpreted through integration with the geological survey results. Several previously known volcanic deposits have been identified based on radioelement distribution, and others have been redefined based on field evidence. A new succession of volcanic members is proposed, to be verified through more detailed geological mapping, geochemical analyses of rock samples and radiometric dating.

Insights into the structure and surface geology of Isla Socorro, Mexico from airborne magnetic and gamma-ray surveys

PAOLETTI, VALERIA;D'ANTONIO, MASSIMO;
2016

Abstract

The island of Socorro is located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, 650 km off the coast of Mexico. It is a rare example of an oceanic volcanic island whose above sea level volume is made up mostly of peralkaline trachytes and rhyolites, with subordinate mafic rocks. Subaerial volcanism started several hundred thousand years ago and continues until recent times. We present an investigation of surface and subsurface geology of the island, based on the first detailed extensive geophysical survey on the island. Acquired airborne magnetic and gamma-ray data were compared to existing geological information and supplemented with field investigations and satellite imagery. Magnetic data show a wide minimum in the central part of the island, possibly connected to a high-temperature zone in the deeper central portion of the volcano, likely to be due to a still hot magma body. The data also depict two parallel edges possibly suggesting the existence of a nested caldera. Analysis on upward continued magnetic data by recent imaging techniques highlighted two deep sources located around 5 km b.s.l., interpreted as feeding structures that are now filled with crystalline rocks. Gamma-ray data have been interpreted through integration with the geological survey results. Several previously known volcanic deposits have been identified based on radioelement distribution, and others have been redefined based on field evidence. A new succession of volcanic members is proposed, to be verified through more detailed geological mapping, geochemical analyses of rock samples and radiometric dating.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/610448
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