Volcano Photos

Guagua Pichincha Volcano, Ecuador

 Guagua Pichincha Volcano, Ecuador, Volcano photo

Guagua Pichincha Volcano, Ecuador

An aerial view from the east shows the Pichincha volcanic complex, one of Ecuador's most active volcanoes, rising immediately above the capital city of Quito.

Guagua Pichincha (left) and the sharp-topped Pleistocene Rucu Pichincha stratovolcano (right) form a broad volcanic massif overlooking Ecuador's largest city.

The largest historical eruption from Guagua Pichincha took place in 1660 AD, when ash fell over a 1000 km radius, accumulating to 30 cm depth in Quito.

Guagua Pichincha and the older Pleistocene Rucu Pichincha stratovolcanoes form a broad volcanic massif that rises immediately to the west of Ecuador's capital city, Quito.

A lava dome is located at the head of a 6-km-wide breached caldera that formed during a late-Pleistocene slope failure of Guagua Pichincha about 50,000 years ago.

Subsequent late-Pleistocene and Holocene eruptions from the central vent in the breached caldera consisted of explosive activity with pyroclastic flows accompanied by periodic growth and destruction of the central lava dome.

Many minor eruptions have occurred since the beginning of the Spanish era at Guagua Pichincha, which is one of Ecuador's most active volcanoes.

The largest historical eruption took place in 1660, when ash fell over a 1000 km radius, accumulating to 30 cm depth in Quito.

Pyroclastic flows and surges also occurred, primarily to the west, and affected agricultural activity, causing great economic losses.

PHOTO SOURCE: Patricio Ramon, 2004 (Instituto Geofisca, Escuela Politecnica Nacional), courtesy of the Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, used with permission.

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