Chimborazo Volcano | John Seach



1.28 S, 78.48 W
summit elevation 6310 m

Chimborazo volcano is a Late Pleistocene to Holocene stratovolcano located at the southwest end of the main Ecuadorian volcanic arc. The volcano is located 150 km south-southwest of Quito and 28 km northwest of
Riobamba. Chimborazo is built on Western Cordillera.

Ice-capped Chimborazo is the highest volcano in the Northern Andean Volcanic Zone. The summit of  Chimborazo is the farthest point from earth centre. Measured from the centre of the earth, it is 2229 m higher than Mt Everest. The volcano is located in the Chimborazo Fauna Reserve.

Chimborazo is a potentially hazardous volcano due to its height, history of explosive eruptions, and closeness to populated areas in Ambato and Riobamba basins.

Eruptions at Chimborazo
At least seven eruptions took place from 8000 years to 1400 years ago producing pyroclastic flow, surge and lapilli fall deposits. Pyroclastic flows have descended to 3800 m elevation. The average time interval between eruptions is about 1000 years, and the last eruption was about 1400 years ago.

Large sector collapse and debris avalanche
The debris avalanche deposit has not been directly dated, but a pyroclastic flow on top of the deposit has been dated at over 35,000 years. The debris avalanche deposit has an average thickness of 40 m, covers an area of 280 sq km, and has a volume of > 11 cubic km.

Climbing Chimborazo
The normal route up the mountain takes 10 hours to the summit and fours hours return.

Further reading
Samaniego, Pablo, et al. "Eruptive history of Chimborazo volcano (Ecuador): A large, ice-capped and hazardous compound volcano in the Northern Andes." Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 221 (2012): 33-51.

Barba, Diego, et al. "Holocene recurrent explosive activity at Chimborazo volcano (Ecuador)." Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 176.1 (2008): 27-35.

Clapperton, C.M., 1990. Glacial and volcanic geomorphology of the Chimborazo-Carihuairazo massif, Ecuadorian Andes. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh81(2), pp.91-116.

Chimborazo Volcano Eruptions

640 AD ± 500, 200 AD ± 40, 3360 BC ± 40