In situ cosmogenic 3He and 36Cl and radiocarbon dating of volcanic deposits refine the Pleistocene and Holocene eruption chronology of SW Peru
Constraining the age of young lavas, which generally fall outside the effective range of traditional geochronology methods, remains a key challenge in volcanology, limiting the development of high-resolution eruption chronologies. We present an in situ cosmogenic 3He and 36Cl surface-exposure chronology, alongside new minimum-limiting 14C ages, documenting young eruptions at five sites in the Western Cordillera, southern Peru. Four 3He-dated lavas on the Nevado Coropuna volcanic complex (hitherto thought to be dormant) indicate that the central dome cluster is young and potentially active; two Holocene lavas on the easternmost dome are the youngest directly dated lavas in Peru to date. East of Coropuna, lava domes and block-lava flows represent the most extensive output to date of Nevado Sabancaya, one of Peru's most active volcanoes. Two 3He measurements confirm the Holocene age of these deposits and expand the chronology for one of the youngest major lava fields in Peru. 36Cl surface-exposure ages from the Purupurini dome cluster and Nevado Casiri document middle-late-Holocene episodes of effusive activity, while basal 14C ages from a lava-dammed wetland constrain an effusive eruption at Mina Arcata, north of Coropuna, to the late-glacial period. These new data advance the recent Western Cordillera volcanic record whilst demonstrating both the considerable potential and fundamental limitations of cosmogenic surface-exposure methods for such applications.