Santa Isabel

Photo of this volcano
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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 4.818°N
  • 75.365°W

  • 4944 m
    16216 ft

  • 351021
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Santa Isabel.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Santa Isabel.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Santa Isabel.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



850 BCE

4944 m / 16216 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

Santa Isabel is a small andesitic shield volcano that is dwarfed by its neighbors to the NE (Nevado del Ruiz) and SE (Tolima). Three lava domes occupy the elongated, N-S-trending glaciated summit region, which has two main peaks. Holocene lava flows fill valleys to the SW and SE. A small Holocene lava dome was emplaced at the center of a circular depression about 10 km SW. No historical eruptions are known.


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

Herd D G, 1982. Glacial and volcanic geology of the Ruiz - Tolima volcanic complex Cordillera Central, Colombia. Pub Geol Especiales INGEOMINAS, Bogata, 8: 1-48.

Huggel C, Cegballos J L Pulgarin B, Ramirez J, Thouret J-C, 2007. Review and reassessment of hazards owing to volcano-glacier interactions in Colombia. Annals Glaciology, 45: 128-136.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Thouret J-C, Cantagrel J-M, Salinas R, Murcia A, 1990. Quaternary eruptive history of Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia). J Volc Geotherm Res, 41: 225-251.

Thouret J-C, Vatin-Perignon N, Cantagrel J M, Salinas R, Murcia A, 1985. Le Nevado el Ruiz (Cordillere Centrale des Andes de Colombie): stratigraphie, structures et dynamisme d'un appareil volcanique andesitique, compose et polygenique. Rev Geog Phys Geol Dynam, 26: 257-271.

Eruptive History

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
0850 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
3550 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
4800 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
5500 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)

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
Espana, Cerro Dome 4350 m 4° 45' 0" N 75° 23' 0" W

Photo Gallery

Santa Isabel is a small, glacier-clad shield volcano that is viewed here from its much more massive neighbor to the NE, Nevado del Ruiz. Holocene lava flows fill valleys SW and SE of Santa Isabel. A small Holocene lava dome was emplaced at the center of a circular depression about 10 km SW of the volcano. No historical eruptions have occurred from Santa Isabel.

Photo by Norm Banks, 1985 (U.S. Geological Survey).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

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

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Santa Isabel 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.