Cuicocha

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 0.308°N
  • 78.364°W

  • 3246 m
    10647 ft

  • 352003
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Cuicocha.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Cuicocha.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Cuicocha.

The scenic lake-filled Cuicocha caldera is located at the southern foot of the sharp-peaked Pleistocene Cotacachi stratovolcano about 100 km north of Quito. Both Cotacachi and Cuicocha were constructed along the Otavalo-Umpalá fracture zone. Eruptive activity at Cuicocha began about 4500 years ago and continued until about 1300 years ago. The 3-km-wide, steep-walled caldera was created during a major explosive eruption about 3100 years ago that produced nearly 5 cu km of pyroclastic-flow and -fall deposits. Cuicocha contains four intra-caldera lava domes that form two steep-sided forested islands in the 148-m-deep lake. A pre-caldera Cuicocha lava dome is situated on the outer east side of the caldera. Pyroclastic-flow deposits cover wide areas around the low-rimmed caldera, primarily to the east. Gas emission continues from several locations in the caldera lake.

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
0650 (?) Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
0950 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
1150 BCE ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed 5 Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
2550 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.



Domes
Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Teodoro Wolf, Isla Dome
Yerovi, Isla Dome
An explosive eruption about 2900 years ago produced widespread tephra and pyroclastic surges. Subsequently a group of four dacitic lava domes was constructed within Cuicocha caldera. This marks the latest known activity from the caldera. The eastern two domes are seen here from the SE rim of the caldera. The lava domes form two forested islands in the center of the 3-km-wide caldera.

Photo by Tom Pierson, 1992 (U.S. Geological Survey).
Sharp-peaked Cotacachi stratovolcano rises above the caldera lake of Cuicocha volcano. The northern caldera wall truncates the flank of the heavily eroded Cotacachi. The caldera was formed during powerful explosive eruptions about 3100 years ago that produced 4.8 cu km of pumice-rich pyroclastic flows and airfall tephra that blanket the surrounding countryside.

Photo by Tom Pierson, 1992 (U.S. Geological Survey).
Scenic lake-filled Cuicocha caldera is located at the southern foot of the sharp-peaked Pleistocene Cotacachi stratovolcano. The caldera was created about 3100 years ago and contains a cluster of intra-caldera dacitic lava domes that form two islands in the large lake. A pre-caldera Cuicocha lava dome is situated on the east side of the lake (right). Pyroclastic-flow deposits cover wide areas around the volcano. The northern caldera rim truncates the heavily eroded slopes of Cotocachi volcano.

Photo by Minard Hall, 1985 (Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito).
The scenic lake-filled Cuicocha caldera is located at the southern foot of the sharp-peaked Pleistocene Cotacachi stratovolcano (top center) about 100 km north of Quito. Farmer's fields encroach on the rim of the 3-km-wide caldera, which was created during a major explosive eruption about 3100 years ago. Dacitic lava domes form two forested islands in the caldera lake. Pyroclastic-flow deposits from the caldera-forming eruptions cover wide areas in now populated areas below the low-rimmed caldera.

Photo by Patricio Ramon, 2003 (Instituto Geofisca, Escuela Politecnica Nacional).

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

Hall M L, 1977. El Volcanismo en El Ecuador. Quito: Biblioteca Ecuador, 120 p.

Hall M L, 1992. . (pers. comm.).

Hillebrandt-M C G von, 1989. The evolution of Cuicocha volcano and the volcanic hazards associated with it (abs). New Mexico Bur Mines Min Resour Bull, 131: 283.

Padron E, Hernandez P A, Toulkeridis T, Perez N M, Marrero R, Melian G, Virgili G, Notsu K, 2008. Diffuse CO2 emission rate from Pululahua and the lake-filled Cuicocha calderas, Ecuador. J Volc Geotherm Res, 176: 163-169.

Volcano Types

Caldera
Lava dome(s)

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Major
Dacite

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
178,815
178,815
364,146
3,193,683

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Cuicocha Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.