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.

Volcano Types

Lava dome(s)

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Andesite / Basaltic Andesite


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.

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).


The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

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.

Affiliated Databases

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).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.