Quilotoa

Last updated
Quilotoa
Panorama quilotoa crater lake ecuador.jpg
Panorama of the lake-filled Quilotoa caldera.
Highest point
Elevation 3,914 m (12,841 ft) [1]
Prominence 302 m (991 ft)
Listing List of volcanoes in Ecuador
Coordinates 0°51′S78°54′W / 0.85°S 78.9°W / -0.85; -78.9 Coordinates: 0°51′S78°54′W / 0.85°S 78.9°W / -0.85; -78.9 [1]
Geography
Location Pujilí Canton, Cotopaxi Province, Ecuador
Parent range Andes
Geology
Age of rock approx. 40,000 years
Mountain type Caldera
Last eruption 1280 [1]

Quilotoa (Spanish pronunciation:  [kiloˈto.a] ) is a water-filled caldera and the most western volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes. The 3-kilometre (2 mi)-wide caldera was formed by the collapse of this dacite volcano following a catastrophic VEI-6 eruption about 600  years ago, which produced pyroclastic flows and lahars that reached the Pacific Ocean, and spread an airborne deposit of volcanic ash throughout the northern Andes. [1] This last eruption followed a dormancy period of 14,000 years and is known as the 1280 Plinian eruption. [2] The fourth (of seven) eruptive phase was phreatomagmatic, indicating that a Crater lake was already present at that time. [3] The caldera has since accumulated a 250 m (820 ft) deep crater lake, which has a greenish color as a result of dissolved minerals. Fumaroles are found on the lake floor and hot springs occur on the eastern flank of the volcano. [1]

Quilotoa is a tourist site of growing popularity. The route to the "summit" (the small town of Quilotoa) is generally traveled by hired truck or bus from the town of Zumbahua 17 km to the South, or more commonly by bus from Latacunga. Visitors no longer have to pay two US dollars each to look from the lip of the caldera. There are a number of simple hostels in the immediate area offering services such as mules and guides. Activities include a four to five-hour hike around the caldera (whose diameter is just over 3 km). The caldera rim is highly irregular and reaches its maximum elevations (3810 m to the N, 3894 m to the NW and 3915 m to the SE) at three lava domes. The 10 km hike is sandy and steep in places and can be quite taxing, particularly if there is fog.

It's a half-hour hike down from the viewpoint (and 1-2 hour hike back up the 280-meter vertical ascent), and very basic lodging down in its bowl. Camping is permitted at the bottom of the crater, but there is no potable water (except half-litre bottles sold at the hostel) [4]

The lake surface is located at 3,500 m asl. The total volume of water stored in Lake Quilotoa is 0.35 km3. According to local inhabitants, the lake level has been slowly declining over the last 10 years. Travertine deposits occur along the shore up to 10 m above the lake level (in the year 2000). [3]

The village of Quilotoa and the associated crater is also a popular destination within the Quilotoa Loop and is a common starting point for the Quilotoa Traverse, a multi-day village to village hiking route.

Related Research Articles

Long Valley Caldera Depression in California, United States

Long Valley Caldera is a depression in eastern California that is adjacent to Mammoth Mountain. The valley is one of the Earth's largest calderas, measuring about 20 miles (32 km) long (east-west), 11 miles (18 km) wide (north-south), and up to 3,000 feet (910 m) deep.

Newberry Volcano Stratovolcano in Oregon, United States

Newberry Volcano is a large active shield-shaped stratovolcano located about 20 miles (32 km) south of Bend, Oregon, United States, 35 miles (56 km) east of the major crest of the Cascade Range, within the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Its highest point is Paulina Peak. The largest volcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc, Newberry has an area of 1,200 square miles (3,100 km2) when its lava flows are taken into account. From north to south, the volcano has a length of 75 miles (121 km), with a width of 27 miles (43 km) and a total volume of approximately 120 cubic miles (500 km3). It was named for the geologist and surgeon John Strong Newberry, who explored central Oregon for the Pacific Railroad Surveys in 1855. The surrounding area has been inhabited by Native American populations for more than 10,000 years.

Mount Bromo mountain in East Java, Indonesia

Mount Bromo, is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java, Indonesia. At 2,329 meters (7,641 ft) it is not the highest peak of the massif, but is the best known. The massif area is one of the most visited tourist attractions in East Java, Indonesia. The volcano belongs to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. The name of Bromo derived from Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator god.

Mount Mazama complex volcano in the Cascade Range

Mount Mazama is a complex volcano in the state of Oregon, United States, in a segment of the Cascade Volcanic Arc and Cascade Range. Most of the mountain collapsed following a major eruption approximately 7,700 years ago. The volcano is in Klamath County, in the southern Cascades, 60 miles (97 km) north of the Oregon-California border. Its collapse formed a caldera that holds Crater Lake. The mountain is in Crater Lake National Park. Mount Mazama originally had an elevation of 12,000 feet (3,700 m), but following its climactic eruption this was reduced to 8,157 feet (2,486 m). Crater Lake is 1,943 feet (592 m) deep, the deepest freshwater body in the US and the second deepest in North America after Great Slave Lake in Canada.

Mount Pinatubo active stratovolcano on the island of Luzon in the Philippines

Mount Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano in the Zambales Mountains, located on the tripoint boundary of the Philippine provinces of Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga, all in Central Luzon on the northern island of Luzon. Its eruptive history was unknown to most before the pre-eruption volcanic activities of 1991, just before June. Pinatubo was heavily eroded, inconspicuous and obscured from view. It was covered with dense forests which supported a population of several thousand indigenous Aetas.

Taal Volcano Volcano in the Philippines

Taal Volcano is a large caldera filled by Taal Lake on Luzon island in the Philippines, and is in the province of Batangas. Taal Volcano is the second most active volcano in the Philippines, with 33 recorded historical eruptions, all of which were concentrated on Volcano Island, near the middle of Taal Lake. The caldera was formed by prehistoric eruptions between 140,000 and 5,380 BP.

Cerro Azul (Chile volcano) mountain in Curicó Province Chile

Cerro Azul, sometimes referred to as Quizapu, is an active stratovolcano in the Maule Region of central Chile, immediately south of Descabezado Grande. Part of the South Volcanic Zone of the Andes, its summit is 3,788 meters (12,428 ft) above sea level, and is capped by a summit crater that is 500 meters (1,600 ft) wide and opens to the north. Beneath the summit, the volcano features numerous scoria cones and flank vents.

Vulcanian eruption type of volcanic eruption

A Vulcanian eruption is a type of volcanic eruption characterized by a dense cloud of ash-laden gas exploding from the crater and rising high above the peak. They usually commence with phreatomagmatic eruptions which can be extremely noisy due the rising magma heating water in the ground. This is usually followed by the explosive clearing of the vent and the eruption column is dirty grey to black as old weathered rocks are blasted out of the vent. As the vent clears, further ash clouds become grey-white and creamy in colour, with convolutions of the ash similar to those of Plinian eruptions.

Nemrut (volcano) mountain

Nemrut is a dormant volcano in Eastern Turkey, close to Lake Van. The volcano is named after King Nimrod who is said to have ruled this area in about 2100 BC.

Lascar (volcano) volcano (stratovolcano)

Lascar is a stratovolcano within the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes, a volcanic arc that spans the countries of Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. It is the most active volcano in the region, with records of eruptions going back to 1848. It is composed of two separate cones with several summit craters. The westernmost crater of the eastern cone is presently active. Volcanic activity is characterized by constant release of volcanic gas and occasional vulcanian eruptions.

Oruanui eruption Worlds most recent supereruption, of Taupo Volcano, New Zealand

The Oruanui eruption of New Zealand's Taupo Volcano, the world's most recent supereruption, had a Volcanic Explosivity Index of 8. It is one of the largest eruptions in the history of New Zealand. It occurred about 26,500 years ago in the Late Pleistocene and generated approximately 430 km3 (100 cu mi) of pyroclastic fall deposits, 320 km3 (77 cu mi) of pyroclastic density current (PDC) deposits and 420 km3 (100 cu mi) of primary intracaldera material, equivalent to 530 km3 (130 cu mi) of magma, totaling 1,170 km3 (280 cu mi) of total deposits. The eruption is divided into 10 different phases on the basis of nine mappable fall units and a tenth, poorly preserved but volumetrically dominant fall unit.

Types of volcanic eruptions Basic mechanisms of eruption and variations

Several types of volcanic eruptions—during which lava, tephra, and assorted gases are expelled from a volcanic vent or fissure—have been distinguished by volcanologists. These are often named after famous volcanoes where that type of behavior has been observed. Some volcanoes may exhibit only one characteristic type of eruption during a period of activity, while others may display an entire sequence of types all in one eruptive series.

Phreatomagmatic eruption Volcanic eruption involving both steam and magma

Phreatomagmatic eruptions are volcanic eruptions resulting from interaction between magma and water. They differ from exclusively magmatic eruptions and phreatic eruptions. Unlike phreatic eruptions, the products of phreatomagmatic eruptions contain juvenile (magmatic) clasts. It is common for a large explosive eruption to have magmatic and phreatomagmatic components.

Lake Ngozi lake in Tanzania

Lake Ngozi is the second largest crater lake in Africa. It can be found near Tukuyu, a small town in the highland Rungwe District, Mbeya Region, of southern Tanzania in East Africa. It is part of the Poroto Mountains and the northern rim of the caldera is the highest point in the range. The caldera mostly composed from trachytic and phonolitic lavas. Ngozi is a Holocene caldera that generated the Kitulo pumice 12,000 years ago during a Plinian eruption, most likely in the same eruption that generated the caldera. Other eruption deposits are the Ngozi Tuff (less than thousand years ago) and the Ituwa Surge base surge deposits of uncertain age, but intermediary to the Kitulo pumice and Ngozi Tuff. The youngest activity generated a pyroclastic flow that flowed southwards for 10 km around 1450 CE. Some pyroclastic cones surround the volcano. The walls of the caldera are forested, with the exception of segments scoured by landslides and high cliffs that inhibit access to the water. The inner caldera is forested with Maesa lanceolata, Albizia gummifera and Hagenia abyssinica, far fewer tree species than neighbouring mountains consistent with the recent geological origin of the volcano. The caldera itself is not subjected to hydrothermal activity, but large subaqueous CO2 emissions and local legends of the killing power of the lake indicate a danger of limnic eruptions. The lake floor according to echosounding is flat and has no terraces.

Sollipulli mountain

Sollipulli is an ice-filled volcanic caldera and volcanic complex, which lies southeast of the small town of Melipeuco in the La Araucanía Region, Chile. It is part of the Southern Volcanic Zone of the Andes, one of the four volcanic belts in the Andes chain.

Lake Pinatubo summit crater lake of Mt. Pinatubo

Lake Pinatubo is the summit crater lake of Mount Pinatubo formed after its climactic eruption on June 15, 1991. The lake is located in Botolan, Zambales, near the boundaries of Pampanga and Tarlac provinces in the Philippines. It is about 90 km (56 mi) northwest of the capital city of Manila. While one paper by researchers from Japan suggested a depth of 600 m (2,000 ft), more detailed research suggests that 95–115 m (312–377 ft) is more accurate.

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcanic complex in Chile

Puyehue and Cordón Caulle are two coalesced volcanic edifices that form a major mountain massif in Puyehue National Park in the Andes of Ranco Province, in the South of Chile. In volcanology this group is known as the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcanic Complex (PCCVC). Four volcanoes constitute the volcanic group or complex, the Cordillera Nevada caldera, the Pliocene Mencheca volcano, Cordón Caulle fissure vents and the Puyehue stratovolcano.

Sete Cidades Massif

Sete Cidades Massif is a stratovolcanic complex, referring to a polygenetic volcano and caldera, located in western part of the island of São Miguel, in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. More recognizable for the Lagoa das Sete Cidades at its centre, the volcanic complex includes centuries of geomorphological structures that include lava domes, cones, lava flows and maar geomorphology that have marked its history.

Aguas Calientes caldera

Aguas Calientes is a major Quaternary caldera in Salta Province, Argentina. It is in the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes, a zone of volcanism covering southern Peru, Bolivia, northwest Argentina and northern Chile. This zone contains stratovolcanoes and calderas.

Ubinas volcano in Peru

Ubinas is a stratovolcano in the Moquegua Region of southern Peru, 60 kilometres (37 mi) east of the city of Arequipa. Part of the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes, it is 5,672 metres (18,609 ft) above sea level. The volcano's summit is cut by a 1.4-kilometre (0.87 mi) wide and 150-metre (490 ft) deep caldera, which itself contains a smaller crater. Below the summit, Ubinas has the shape of an upwards-steepening cone with a prominent notch on the southern side. The gently sloping lower part of the volcano is also known as Ubinas I and the steeper upper part as Ubinas II; they represent different stages in the geologic history of Ubinas.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Quilotoa". Global Volcanism Program . Smithsonian Institution . Retrieved 2007-01-25.
  2. Patricia A. Mothes, Minard L. Hall (2008) "The plinian fallout associated with Quilotoa's 800 yr BP eruption, Ecuadorian Andes", Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Volume 176, Issue 1, 10 September 2008, Pages 56-69
  3. 1 2 "Water chemistry of Lake Quilotoa (Ecuador) and assessment of natural hazards" (PDF). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 97: 271–285. 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
  4. Viva Quilotoa Travel Guide site visit Jan 31, 2009