Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

Ecuador volcanoes

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Ecuador volcanoes

Ecuador volcanoes, AltarAltar volcano, is an extinct volcano in the middle of Ecuador. It is covered with ice and snow. Many different colored lakes can be found on Altar. Basalts dominate the composition of the volcano. The many peaks of Altar resemble the shape of an altar of a colonial church. The highest of these peaks is Bishop. Incas called this massive collapsed volcano "Capac Urcu," meaning "Almighty Mountain." A rarely visited lake sends a small flow of water from the caldera, which is full of caves. Seeing the mountain as a huge cathedral, Spaniards named it El Altar. They named the northern summit, the Canon, the eastern summit, Tabernacle, and the southern summit, Bishop.

Ecuador volcanoes, AntisanaAntisana volcano,  is located in the Real Mountain range to 50 km to the Southeastern of Quito and to 30 km to the West of Baeza. He is estrato volcano old in whose boiler the youngest cone has been developed. From cima (5705 ms) glaciers by all the flanks descend whose volume of ice is considered in more than 1 km 3 . The fumarola activity in the crater and the historical eruptions testifies the active state of this volcano.  Antisana has had several historical eruptions. In 1728 formed flow Antisanilla the lava emission point is located 12 km to the Southeastern of Píntag whereas in 1773 flujo of lava of Potrerillos was emitted that reached the Papallacta River. Humboldt also spoke of activity in the Antisa­na in 1801.

Ecuador volcanoes, CayambeCayambe volcano, is the name of a volcano located in the central branch of the Ecuadorian Andes, in Pichincha province some 70 km north of Quito. Its exact location is 0.029 N 77.985 W and its elevation is 5,785 meters. It is the third highest mountain in Ecuador. It was first scaled by British climber Edward Whymper and his two Italian guides and companions Juan Antonio and Luis Carrel in 1880, and is a favourite of mountain climbers today. Close to its summit, at 4,600m, is the highest point in the world crossed by the Equator. Cayambe, which has a permanent snow cap, is a Holocene compound volcano which has not erupted in historical times. The volcano is located within the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve.

Ecuador volcanoes, ChimborazoChimborazo volcano, (1.6S 78.6W) is located in the Inter-Andean Graben, a north-northeast trend structural depression that separates the Western and Eastern Cordillera of the Andes in Ecuador. It is a Quaternary volcano that has not erupted in historical time. Elevation of the summit is 20,700 feet (6,310 m). The summit of Chimoborazo constitutes the furtest point from the center of the Earth because of the high elevation, the location of the mountain at the equator and the oblateness of the Earth.

Ecuador Volcanoes, CotopaxiCotopaxi volcano, is Ecuador's highest active volcano at 5897m. It is a stratovolcano (very similar in form to Mt. Fuji or Mt Sashta) with an almost perfectly symmetrical cone, rising from a highland plain of 3800m and covered by a mighty glacier starting at a height of 5000m. The side of the cone has deep valleys scoured by lahars. The summit crater is 600m x 800m in diameter and several hundred meters deep.  Cotopaxi has a well recorded history of explosive eruptions with lava and pyroclastic flows, which devastated often part of nearby valleys. During a battle between Incas and Spaniards in 1534, the volcano erupted and put an end to the fighting as both fled from the battle field. Eruptions in 1744 and 1768 destroyed the colonial town of Latacunga and in 1877 a huge eruption produced lahars, which reached even the Pacific oceans through the rivers, draining the valley to the west. The last recorded eruption occurred in 1904 and in 1975 the volcano awoke for a short time but did not produce any spectacle.

Guagua Pichincha volcano, is a composite or stratovolcano with a horseshoe - shaped crater (very similar to the newly formed crater by the explosion of Mount Saint Helens in 1980) with a diameter of 2 km and 600m deep. Quito, Ecuador's capital of 1.5 million people lies at the eastern foot of Mount Pichincha, however the crater is located a few miles away from the city and its opening is pointing west towards the coast.  A huge historical explosion was recorded by the recently arrived Spaniards in 1660. In their chronicles, they recorded about 40cm of ashes in the city (although I would take that with a grain of salt) and pyroclastic flows to the west.

Not much is known since then but in August 1981 the volcano came alive again after years of dormancy but not much happened in the following years till the late summer of 1999.

Crater of Guagua Pichincha volcano


Pululahua crater

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Ecuador volcanoes

Last Modified 8/1/06 6:26 PM