Socompa Volcano | John Seach


Argentina/ Chile

24.40 S, 68.25 W
summit elevation 6060 m

Socompa Volcano is located on the Chile/Argentina border in the subtropical Andes. Socompa Volcano lies at the southeastern end of the Atacama Basin. The volcano contains the best preserved debris avalanche deposit in the world.

Collapse and Avalanche
A catastrophic sector collapse of the northwestern flank of Socompa volcano occurred about 7200 yr ago. Deposits extend 40 km, and cover an area of about 490 sq km with an average depth of 50 m. The avalanche deposit extends across the Monturaqui Basin. Prior to collapse the volcano has a summit elevation of 6300 m. The avalanche flowed down to elevations of between 3100-3400 m.

High altitude photoautotrophic communities
Socompa volcano contains the world's highest autotrophic communities. This includes mosses, liverworts, algae, fungi, and lichens, located in geothermal warmspots at an altitude of 5750-6060 m.

Further reading
Francis, P. W., et al. "Catastrophic debris avalanche deposit of Socompa volcano, northern Chile." Geology 13.9 (1985): 600-603.

Socompa Volcano Eruptions

5250 BC?