Polygenetic nature of a rhyolitic dome and implications for hazard assessment: Cerro Pizarro volcano, Mexico

G. Carrasco-Núñez, N. R. Riggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Rhyolitic domes are commonly regarded as monogenetic volcanoes associated with single, brief eruptions, in contrast to andesitic or dacitic domes that usually show a complex evolution including alternating long periods of growth and explosive destruction. Rhyolitic domes are characterized by short-lived successions of pyroclastic and effusive activity associated with a series of discrete eruptive events that apparently last on the order of years to decades or perhaps up to centuries. Cerro Pizarro, a rhyolitic dome in the eastern Mexican Volcanic Belt, is a relatively small (~ 1.1 km3), isolated volcano that shows aspects of polygenetic volcanism including long-term repose periods (~ 50-80 ky) between eruptions, chemical variations over time, and a complex evolution of alternating explosive and effusive eruptions, including a cryptodome phase, a sector-collapse event and prolonged erosional processes. This eruptive behavior provides new insights into how rhyolite domes may evolve, in contrast to the traditional models of rhyolitic domes as short-lived, monogenetic systems. A protracted, complex evolution bears important implications for hazard assessment if reactivation of an apparently extinct rhyolitic dome must be seriously considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-315
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Apr 20 2008


  • Mexican Volcanic Belt
  • dome growth
  • monogenetic volcanism
  • polygenetic volcanism
  • rhyolites
  • volcanic hazards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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