We report new geophysical observations on the distribution of subsurface structures associated with monogenetic volcanism in the Garrotxa volcanic field (Northern Spain). As part of the Catalan Volcanic Zone, this Quaternary volcanic field is associated with the European rifts system. It contains the most recent and best preserved volcanic edifices of the Catalan Volcanic Zone with 38 monogenetic volcanoes identified in the Garrotxa Natural Park. We conducted new gravimetric and self-potential surveys to enhance our understanding of the relationship between the local geology and the spatial distribution of the monogenetic volcanoes. The main finding of this study is that the central part of the volcanic field is dominated by a broad negative Bouguer anomaly of around -0.5 mGal, within which a series of gravity minima are found with amplitudes of up to -2.3 mGal. Inverse modelling of the Bouguer data suggests that surficial low-density material dominates the volcanic field, most likely associated with effusive and explosive surface deposits. In contrast, an arcuate cluster of gravity minima to the NW of the Croscat volcano, the youngest volcano of this zone, is modelled by vertically extended low-density bodies, which we interpret as a complex ensemble of fault damage zones and the roots of young scoria cones. A ground-water infiltration zone identified by a self-potential anomaly is associated with a steep horizontal Bouguer gravity gradient and interpreted as a fault zone and/or magmatic fissure, which fed the most recent volcanic activity in the Garrotxa. Gravimetric and self-potential data are well correlated and indicate a control on the locations of scoria cones by NNE-SSW and NNW-SSE striking tectonic features, which intersect the main structural boundaries of the study area to the north and south. Our interpretation of the data is that faults facilitated magma ascent to the surface. Our findings have major implications for understanding the relationship between subsurface structures and potential future volcanic activity in the Garrotxa volcanic field.
- Monogenetic volcanism
- Structural control