© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Maar volcanoes expose shallower or deeper levels of their internal structure as a function of the degree of erosion. In El Camp dels Ninots maar-diatreme (Catalan Volcanic Zone, Spain), the tephra ring has been largely eroded, and the remaining volcanic deposits infilling the diatreme are hidden under a lacustrine sedimentary infill of the crater. The volcano shows hardly any exposure, so its study needs the application of direct (e.g., boreholes) and indirect (shallow geophysics) subsurface exploration techniques. Additionally, this maar-diatreme was built astride two different substrates (i.e., mixed setting) as a result of its location in a normal fault separating Neogene sediments from Paleozoic granites. In order to characterize the internal structure and post-eruption stratigraphy of the maar-diatreme, we did geological studies (mapping, continuous core logging, and description of the tephra ring outcrops) and near-surface geophysics, including nine transects of electric resistivity tomography and a gravity survey. Results show that the deeper part of the diatreme is excavated into granites and is relatively steep and symmetrical. The uppermost diatreme is asymmetrical because of mechanical contrast between granites and Pliocene sands. The maar crater contained a lake permanently isolated from the surrounding relief and was deep enough to host anoxic bottom waters while its margins had shallower waters. These lake conditions preserved the remarkable Pliocene fossil record found in the lacustrine sediments.
- Catalan Volcanic Zone
- Electrical resistivity tomography
- Gravity survey