Aucanquilcha Volcano | John Seach



21.22 S, 68.47 W
summit elevation 6176 m

Aucanquilcha Volcano is located in northern Chile. Volcán Aucanquilcha is the youngest of about 20 volcanoes that comprise the Aucanquilcha Volcanic Cluster. Volcán Aucanquilcha has local relief of about 1,400 m from the surrounding terrain.

The volcano consists of a 9-km-long east trending ridge with four peaks reaching at least 6,000 m. The erupted volume of the volcano is 37 cubic km. Lava has erupted erupted from a least five vents along the ridge and from lower summits at 5,600 and 5,900 m.

The volcano consists of several cones, and an avalanche deposit. A sulphur mine operated at an elevation of 5500 m between 1913 and 1990's. During that time it was the world's highest permanent human habitation. The volcano also contained one of the world's highest roads at 5900 m.

Most lava erupted from summit vents, and rarely extended more than 3 km. There are two small domes on the northwestern flank. A debris avalanche deposit occurs on the eastern side and a dome-collapse driven pyroclastic flow deposit occurs on the western side of the volcano.

Aucanquilcha Volcanic Cluster has experienced persistent volcanic activity over the last 11 million years. The volcano experienced rapid initial growth, followed by a decrease in eruptive activity.

Aucanquilcha volcano currently shows fumarolic activity.

Further reading
Grunder, Anita L., et al. "Eleven million years of arc volcanism at the Aucanquilcha Volcanic Cluster, northern Chilean Andes: implications for the life span and emplacement of plutons." Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 97.4 (2008): 415-436.

Walker, B.A., Grunder, A.L. and Wooden, J.L., 2010. Organization and thermal maturation of long-lived arc systems: Evidence from zircons at the Aucanquilcha volcanic cluster, northern Chile. Geology, 38(11), pp.1007-1010.

Aucanquilcha Volcano Eruptions

400,000 to 780,000 years ago.