Nevado de Acay

Nevado de Acay is a 5,950-metre-high (19,520 ft) mountain in Argentina. It is a volcanic intrusion that formed during the Miocene and was later exposed. The intrusion is formed by monzonite and is associated with a fault system that also connects to neighbouring volcanoes.

Nevado de Acay from Abra de Acay

While not presently glaciated, it contains a seasonal snowpack and is the source of several streams and rivers, including the Rio Salado. A number of archeological sites have been found on Nevado de Acay and mining activity occurred there until recent times.

. . . Nevado de Acay . . .

Nevado de Acay is 5,716 metres (18,753 ft),[2]5,886 metres (19,311 ft)[1] or 5,950 metres (19,520 ft) high.[3][1] It lies in the La Poma Department of Argentina‘s Salta Province. It is part of the Cuesta del Acay mountains and their highest summit.[4] The Calchaqui valley extends south from Nevado de Acay.[5]

It is formed by monzonite that was generated 12.6 ± 0.3 million years ago,[6] along the Calchaqui fault.[7] It originally formed as an intrusion that was exposed about 12.61 ± 0.25 million years ago.[8] Another date is 26 million years ago,[9] which would make it contemporaneous with the disintegration of the Farallon Plate and the following increase in subduction and volcanic activity.[10] Yet another older date is 18.9 million years ago.[11]

Emplaced within the PrecambrianCambrian Puncoviscana formation, the Nevado de Acay monzonite contains biotite, diorite, hornblende, magnetite, monzodiorite, pyroxene, titanite and tonalite. Skarn and mineral deposits formed within the monzonite as well.[9]

Located close to the Negra Muerta volcanic complex, it is a volcanic system associated with the Calama-Olacapato-El Toro fault system. Other volcanoes such as Aguas Calientes and Incahuasi Sur are associated with this fault system.[11]

Cirques indicate the presence of former glaciers.[12] The present-day snowline lies at an altitude of 5,800 metres (19,000 ft);[13]rock glaciers fed by avalanches exist on Nevado de Acay in Pleistocene glacier valleys.[14] Nevado de Acay is covered in snow only during the winter months, although summer storms can also deposit snow on it; during the dry season the mountain is bare.[3]

The Calchaqui River [es] originates on Nevado de Acay and flows south,[15][16] as does the Rio Juramento.[17] Other waterbodies originating on Nevado de Acay are the Arroyo Pircas, a tributary to the Rio Juramento,[18] Arroyo Tastil which flows into Arroyo del Toro,[19] which also originates on Nevado de Acay and eventually flows into the Arroyo Arias;[20] Arroyo Arias in turn also drains into the Juramento.[21] Most streams in the area are fed with meltwater. The mountains form the drainage divide; water flowing to the west eventually ends up in various endorheic basins.[3] The Rio Los Patos also originates on Nevado de Acay and archeological sites are found on its river terraces,[22] and it converges with the Rio San Antonio de los Cobres, which likewise originates on Nevado de Acay as Rio Organullo and after passing close to San Antonio del los Cobres and receiving the Quebrada Potrerillos carries the name of the town, and eventually reach Salinas Grandes where they evaporate.[23]

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