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Highest point
Elevation 5,498 m (18,038 ft) [1]
Coordinates 15°14′S72°48′W / 15.233°S 72.800°W / -15.233; -72.800 Coordinates: 15°14′S72°48′W / 15.233°S 72.800°W / -15.233; -72.800 [1]
Location Arequipa Region,
Parent range Andean Volcanic Belt,

Firura is an extinct volcano of the Central Andean Volcanic Belt, located in the Arequipa Region of southern Peru. [1] Together with Sara Sara, Solimana and Coropuna it forms one of the Central Andean volcanoes. [2] It is in the Andes, north of the Pucuncho Basin.

Volcano A rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface

A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface.

Andean Volcanic Belt Volcanic belt in South America

The Andean Volcanic Belt is a major volcanic belt along the Andean cordillera in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. It formed as a result of subduction of the Nazca Plate and Antarctic Plate underneath the South American Plate. The belt is subdivided into four main volcanic zones that are separated from each other by volcanic gaps. The volcanoes of the belt are diverse in terms of activity style, products and morphology. While some differences can be explained by which volcanic zone a volcano belongs to, there are significant differences within volcanic zones and even between neighboring volcanoes. Despite being a type location for calc-alkalic and subduction volcanism, the Andean Volcanic Belt has a large range of volcano-tectonic settings, such as rift systems and extensional zones, transpressional faults, subduction of mid-ocean ridges and seamount chains apart from a large range on crustal thicknesses and magma ascent paths, and different amount of crustal assimilations.

Peru republic in South America

Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.


Two domes form the Firura volcano, which has a low relief of 500 metres (1,600 ft). [1] Lava flows and stratovolcanoes form a 10–12 kilometres (6.2–7.5 mi) long field. Aside from the main summit Firura, there also are Soncco Orcco (5,191 metres (17,031 ft)), Jahsaya (5,144 metres (16,877 ft)) and separating Firura from Solimana Antapuna (4,852 metres (15,919 ft)). The complex has generated basaltic or basaltic andesite lava flows that reach down into inhabited areas, as well as an ignimbrite resulting from the collapse of the ancient crater. Date of last volcanic activity is Pleistocene to Holocene but it doesn't appear to be a major hazard. [3] [4] [5]

Basaltic andesite

Basaltic andesite is a volcanic rock containing about 55% silica. It is distinct from basalt and andesite in having a different percentage of silica content. Minerals in basaltic andesite include olivine, augite and plagioclase. Basaltic andesite can be found in volcanoes around the world, including in Central America and the Andes of South America.

Ignimbrite A variety of hardened tuff

Ignimbrite is a variety of hardened tuff. Ignimbrites are igneous rocks made up of crystal and rock fragments in a glass-shard groundmass, albeit the original texture of the groundmass might be obliterated due to high degrees of welding. The term ignimbrite is not recommended by the IUGS Subcommission on the Systematics of Igneous Rocks.

The Pleistocene is the geological epoch which lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the world's most recent period of repeated glaciations. The end of the Pleistocene corresponds with the end of the last glacial period and also with the end of the Paleolithic age used in archaeology.

Much of the southern side of the volcano above 5,300 metres (17,400 ft) altitude is covered with perennial snow. A small glacier (>0.5 square kilometres (0.19 sq mi)) is found on the southern summit of Firura and reaches down to 5,255 metres (17,241 ft). This glacier appears to be located above the local equilibrium line altitude. [1]

Glacier Persistent body of ice that is moving under its own weight

A glacier is a persistent body of dense ice that is constantly moving under its own weight; it forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries. Glaciers slowly deform and flow due to stresses induced by their weight, creating crevasses, seracs, and other distinguishing features. They also abrade rock and debris from their substrate to create landforms such as cirques and moraines. Glaciers form only on land and are distinct from the much thinner sea ice and lake ice that form on the surface of bodies of water.

Firura has well preserved moraine systems. A major moraine system with a relief of 80–100 metres (260–330 ft) was left by the Last Glacial Maximum, although expansion of glaciers on the northern flank was constrained on a high plateau. The prevalent aridity of the climate impedes the degradation of these moraines. [1]

Moraine Glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated debris

A moraine is any glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris that occurs in both currently and formerly glaciated regions on Earth, through geomorphological processes. Moraines are formed from debris previously carried along by a glacier and normally consisting of somewhat rounded particles ranging in size from large boulders to minute glacial flour. Lateral moraines are formed at the side of the ice flow and terminal moraines at the foot, marking the maximum advance of the glacier. Other types of moraine include ground moraines, till-covered areas with irregular topography, and medial moraines which are formed where two glaciers meet.

Last Glacial Maximum most recent glacial maximum during the last glacial period

The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) was the most recent time during the Last Glacial Period when ice sheets were at their greatest extent. Vast ice sheets covered much of North America, northern Europe, and Asia. The ice sheets profoundly affected Earth's climate by causing drought, desertification, and a large drop in sea levels. The ice sheets reached their maximum coverage about 26,500 years ago. Deglaciation commenced in the Northern Hemisphere at approximately 20 ka and in Antarctica approximately at 14.5 ka, consistent with evidence for an abrupt rise in the sea level at about 14.5 ka.

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