Las Cumbres

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 19.15°N
  • 97.27°W

  • 3940 m
    12923 ft

  • 341098
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Las Cumbres.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Las Cumbres.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Las Cumbres.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



3920 BCE

3940 m / 12923 ft


Volcano Types

Lava dome(s)

Rock Types

Andesite / Basaltic Andesite

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)


Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km

Geological Summary

The Las Cumbres volcanic complex, a Quaternary center about 15 km NNE of Pico de Orizaba, contains a 3.5-4.5 km wide summit caldera narrowly breached on the east side. A dacitic lava dome (Cerro Gordo or El Cumbre Grande) lies in the center of the caldera. A group of monogenetic cones, explosion craters, and andesitic and rhyolitic lava domes is located north and south of Cerro las Cumbres. Three of these, Xalista and El Rodeo to the north, and Ixetal to the south, are obsidian domes. A major rhyolitic explosive eruption producing the Quetzalapa Pumice about 20,000 years ago originated from a vent on the lower NW flank of the Las Cumbres complex. Eruptive activity at the main Las Cumbres complex ceased during the late Pleistocene, although activity on the flanks of the edifice continued into the Holocene. The rhyolitic Yolotepec lava dome, north of Las Cumbres, has been radiocarbon dated at about 5900 years before present.


The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography.

Carrasco-Nunez G, Diaz-Castellon R, Siebert L, Hubbard B, Sheridan M F, Rodriguez S R, 2006. Multiple edifice-collapse events in the Eastern Mexican Volcanic Belt: the role of sloping substrate and implications for hazard assessment. J Volc Geotherm Res, 158: 151-176.

Hoskuldsson A, 2001. Late Pleistocene subglacial caldera formation at Cerro las Cumbres, eastern Mexico. Jokull, 50: 49-64.

Hoskuldsson A, Robin C, 1993. Late Pleistocene to Holocene eruptive activity of Pico de Orizaba, Eastern Mexico. Bull Volc, 55: 571-587.

Luhr J F, Kimberly P G, Siebert L, Aranda-Gomez J J, Housh T B, Kysar Mattietti G, 2006. Quaternary volcanic rocks: insights from the MEXPET petrological and geochemical database. In: Siebe S, Macias J-L, Aguirre-Diaz G J (eds) Neogone-Quaternary continental margin volcanism: a perspective from Mexico, {Geol Soc Amer Spec Pap}, 402: 1-44.

Negendank J F W, Emmermann R, Krawczyk R, Mooser F, Tobschall H, Werle D, 1985. Geological and geochemical investigations on the eastern Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Geof Internac, 24: 477-575.

Rodriguez S-R, Siebe C, Komorowski J-C, Abrams M, 2002. The Quetzalapa Pumice: a voluminous late Pleistocene rhyolite deposit in the eastern Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. J Volc Geotherm Res, 113: 177-212.

Siebe C, Abrams M, Sheridan M F, 1993. Major Holocene block-and-ash fan at the western slope of ice-capped Pico de Orizaba volcano, Mexico: Implications for future hazards. J Volc Geotherm Res, 59: 1-33.

Siebe C, Macias J L, Abrams M, Rodriguez S, Castro R, 1997. Catastrophic prehistoric eruptions at Popocatepetl and Quaternary explosive volcanism in the Serdan-Oriental Basin, east-central Mexico. IAVCEI General Assembly, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, January 19-24, 1997, Fieldtrip Guidebook, Excursion no 4, 88 p.

Eruptive History

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
3920 BCE ± 50 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected) North flank (Yolotepec lava dome)

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Capilla, La Crater


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Chichihuale Dome 19° 6' 0" N 97° 20' 0" W
Cumbre Grande, El Dome
Gordo, Cerro Dome 19° 10' 0" N 97° 15' 0" W
Ixtetal Dome 19° 7' 0" N 97° 16' 0" W
Rodeo, El Dome 19° 14' 30" N 97° 18' 0" W
Sillatepec Dome 19° 6' 0" N 97° 17' 30" W
Xalista Dome 19° 14' 0" N 97° 16' 30" W
Yolotepec Dome 19° 15' 0" N 97° 15' 30" W

Photo Gallery

The flat-topped summit of Las Cumbres volcanic complex, a Quaternary volcano NNE of Pico de Orizaba, is seen here from the NW, across the Serdán-Oriental basin. A 3.5-4.5 km wide summit caldera is partially filled by the Cerro Gordo lava dome. At least one of a group of monogenetic cones, explosion craters, and andesitic and rhyolitic lava domes on the flanks of the volcano is of Holocene age.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
The N-S-trending Cofre de Perote-Pico de Orizaba volcanic chain is perpendicular to the trend of the Mexican Volcanic Belt. This view southward from the summit of Cofre de Perote towards glacier-capped Pico de Orizaba in the background shows two lesser known volcanic complexes in between. The La Gloria volcanic field, also known as the Desconocido-Tecomales volcanic field, forms the dissected area in the center of the photo, and Las Cumbres volcano is the broad range that extends from in front of Orizaba to the right-center horizon.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1998 (Smithsonian Institution).
The broad ridge on the horizon is Las Cumbres volcanic complex, a Quaternary center NNE of Pico de Orizaba. A 3.5-4.5 km wide summit caldera of late-Pleistocene age is narrowly breached to the east, in the direction of this photo. The Las Cumbres complex lies in the southern half of the Pico de Orizaba-Cofre de Perote volcanic chain and is topographically much less prominent than the two major volcanoes anchoring the ends of the chain.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1998 (Smithsonian Institution).
The 70-km-long NNE-SSW-trending Cofre de Perote-Pico de Orizaba chain is the easternmost of three volcanic chains perpendicular to the trend of the Mexican Volcanic Belt (MVB). The andesitic-dacitic Cofre de Perote shield volcano and snow-capped Pico de Orizaba (Citlaltépetl) anchor the northern and southern ends of the chain, respectively. As with other transverse chains in the MVB, volcanism has migrated to the south, but here young satellitic cones of Pleistocene-to-Holocene age are scattered throughout the chain.

ASTER satellite image, 2001 (National Aeronautical and Space Administration, processed by Doug Edmonds).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

There are no samples for Las Cumbres in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Las Cumbres Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
MODVOLC - HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System Using infrared satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, scientists at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, developed an automated system called MODVOLC to map thermal hot-spots in near real time. For each MODIS image, the algorithm automatically scans each 1 km pixel within it to check for high-temperature hot-spots. When one is found the date, time, location, and intensity are recorded. MODIS looks at every square km of the Earth every 48 hours, once during the day and once during the night, and the presence of two MODIS sensors in space allows at least four hot-spot observations every two days. Each day updated global maps are compiled to display the locations of all hot spots detected in the previous 24 hours. There is a drop-down list with volcano names which allow users to 'zoom-in' and examine the distribution of hot-spots at a variety of spatial scales.
MIROVA Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity (MIROVA) is a near real time volcanic hot-spot detection system based on the analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data. In particular, MIROVA uses the Middle InfraRed Radiation (MIR), measured over target volcanoes, in order to detect, locate and measure the heat radiation sourced from volcanic activity.