Cayambe Volcano - John Seach



0.029 N, 77.986 W
summit elevation 5790 m
Compound volcano

Cayambe Volcano is located in northern Ecuador.
The southern flank of the volcano is located on the equator.

Cayambe Volcanic Complex is located in the northern part of the Cordillera Real in the Ecuadorian Andes, 60 km NE of the city of Quito and only 15 km E of the city of Cayambe (~ 20 000 inhabitants).

Cayambe Volcanic Complex has a roughly rectangular base (24 km EW by 18 km NS), located at an altitude of 2800-3000 m in the west, and in 3400-3800 m asl in the eastern part. The upper part of the complex, elongated in the direction EW, consists of a main summit (5790 m) and a secondary summit (5487 m) located 1.5 km E of the first. On the 4800 m asl, the complex is covered by a major ice cap that covers an area approximately 22 km 2 and reaching a thickness of 30-50 m at the summit. On the eastern flank, glaciers descend to 4400 m altitude, while in the western flank, the driest, the glaciers reach an altitude of 4600-4800 m.

Cayambe volcano was constructed in three stages:

1) "Old Cayambe" is eroded, located in the western part of the volcanic complex and was built during the Pleistocene (0.5-0.25 Ma)

2) The current construction of "Nevado Cayambe" a stratovolcano, is built on the remnants of a volcano in eastern base during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. The Nevado Cayambe consists of three successive buildings: the cone of Angureal, the building that forms the main summit of the complex, and the building that forms the summit. The latter cone is free of glacial erosion, which suggests an age Holocene (post-glacial).

3) On the eastern side there is a small satellite cone of Holocene age, characterized by the production of large lava flows directed toward the east.

2003-05 Earthquakes
Seismic activity was recorded at the volcano between 2003 and 2005.

1785-86 Eruptions
In February 1785 an eruption of Cayambe volcano occurred high on the southeast flank and produced a 13 mm thick ashfall at Cayambe town. Ash emissions occurred in July 1785, and a lava flow (or possibly mud flow) in March 1786.

Cayambe Volcano Eruptions

1785, 1700?, 1590?, 1570?, 1440?, 1290?, 1270?, 1040?, 880?, 260 AD?, 200 AD?, 170 AD?, 10 AD?, 180 BC?, 230 BC?, 260 BC?, 460 BC, 510 BC?, 560 BC?, 1300 BC?, 1650 BC?, 1800 BC?