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 Cuicocha Volcano, Ecuador, Volcano photo
Cuicocha Volcano, Ecuador

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.

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-Umpala 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.

PHOTO SOURCE: Patricio Ramon, 2003 (Instituto Geofisca, Escuela Politecnica Nacional), courtesy of the Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, used with permission.



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This page was last modified 23-FEB-10
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