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Authors: Mazzarini, F.* 
Ferrari, L.* 
Isola, I.* 
Title: Self-similar clustering of cinder cones and crust thickness in the Michoacan–Guanajuato and Sierra de Chichinautzin volcanic fields, Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt
Issue Date: 29-Apr-2010
Series/Report no.: 1-4/486(2010)
DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2010.02.009
Keywords: Volcanic fields
Vent distribution
Crust thickness
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.09. Structural geology 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.05. Stress 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.07. Tectonics 
Abstract: The spatial clustering of basaltic vents in monogenetic volcanic fields has been used as a proxy for crustal thickness in extensional and back-arc tectonic settings. The basaltic vents have a fractal clustered distribution (self-similar clustering) described by a power-law. The power-law is defined over a range, the size range of the distribution, of values (in this case the vents' separation) delimited by a lower and an upper cut-offs. Here we apply the fractal clustering analysis to the two largest monogenetic volcanic fields of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB), a continental arc built on different crustal terranes. The Michoacan–Guanajuato volcanic field (MGVF), located in the central-western TMVB, includes over 1000 vents of late Pliocene to Quaternary age, built on attenuated crust of Mesozoic to Tertiary age. The Sierra de Chichinautzin volcanic field (SCVF), in the central-eastern TMVB, is composed of ~ 220 Late Pleistocene to Holocene vents laying above thicker crust of Precambrian to Tertiary age. Monogenetic vents in both volcanic fields show self-similar clustering with fractal exponent D = 1.67 in the range 1.3–38 km (MGVF) and D = 1.56 in the range 1.5–32 km (SCVF). The upper cut-off (Uco) for the power-law distribution of the MGVF well fits the crustal thickness below the volcanic field as derived from independent geophysical data. The Uco value of SCVF indicates a crust thickness of about 32 km, this value is in agreement with new geophysical data that indicate magma underplating the crust beneath the volcanic field area.
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