Martí, J., L. l. Planagumà, A. Geyer, G. Aguirre-Díaz, D. Pedrazzi, and X. Bolós (2017), Basaltic ignimbrites in monogenetic volcanism: the example of La Garrotxa volcanic field, Bulletin of Volcanology, 79(5), 33, doi: 10.1007/s00445-017-1113-0.
Ignimbrites are pyroclastic density current deposits common in explosive volcanism involving intermediate and silicic magmas and in less abundance in eruptions of basaltic central and shield volcanoes. However, they are not widely described in association with monogenetic volcanism, where typical products include lava flows, scoria and lapilli fall deposits, as well as various kinds of pyroclastic density current deposits and explosion breccias. In La Garrotxa basaltic monogenetic volcanic field, part of the Neogene-Quaternary European rift system located in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, we have identified a particular group of pyroclastic density current deposits that show similar textural characteristics to silicic ignimbrites, indicating an overlap in transport and depositional processes. These deposits can be clearly distinguished from other pyroclastic density current deposits generated during phreatomagmatic phases that typically correspond to thinly laminated units with planar-to-cross-bedded stratification. The monogenetic ignimbrite deposits correspond to a few meters to several tens of meters thick units rich in lithic- and lapilli scoria fragments, with an abundant ash matrix, and internally massive structure, emplaced along valleys and gullies, with run-out distances up to 6 km and individual volumes ranging from 106 to 1.5 × 107 m3. The presence of flattened scoria and columnar jointing in some of these deposits suggests relatively high emplacement temperatures, coinciding with available paleomagnetic data that suggests an emplacement temperature around 450–500 °C. In this work, we describe the main characteristics of these pyroclastic deposits that were generated by a number of phreatomagmatic episodes. Comparison with similar deposits from silicic eruptions and previous examples of ignimbrites associated with basaltic volcanism allows us to classify them as ‘basaltic ignimbrites’. The recognition in monogenetic volcanism of such pyroclastic products, which may extend several kilometres from source, has an important consequence for hazard assessment in these volcanic fields, which previously have been considered to present only minor hazards and risks.