Chiles-Cerro Negro

Photo of this volcano
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 0.817°N
  • 77.938°W

  • 4698 m
    15409 ft

  • 351110
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

Most Recent Weekly Report: 5 November-11 November 2014 Citation IconCite this Report


On 4 November Servicio Geológico Colombiano's Observatorio Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Pasto (SGC-OVSP) reported that seismic activity at Cerro Negro de Mayasquer and Chiles volcanoes remained elevated. Since 29 September 2014 about 132,000 earthquakes had been detected, with 3,200 of those events occurring on 4 November. During the previous week hypocenters were located 0.3-6.3 km S and SW of Chiles, at depths of 3-9 km below the summit. Local magnitudes were between 0.7 and 4.6. The Alert Level remained at Orange (level 3 of 4).

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)


Most Recent Bulletin Report: August 1990 (BGVN 15:08) Citation IconCite this Report


H2S-rich hot springs at Pleistocene volcano

"In April 1988 and again on 3 April 1990 we visited two hydrothermal springs [on Chiles] and collected samples. The first, La Calera, is a developed hot spring with baths just W of the town of Chiles and 8 km E of the crater of Chiles volcano, at 3,180 m elev. The maximum temperature was 40°C and pH was 6.2. No significant sulfur deposition was observed at the natural source of hot water, ~ 100 m uphill from the commercial baths. The second site, La Hedionda, was unsuccessfully developed as a tourist bath area, reputedly failing because of deadly levels of H2S. It is 3.5 km E of the crater, at 3,470 m elevation. The uppermost hot spring, with a temperature of 54°C and pH of 5.1, was sampled. These acid sulfate springs were actively depositing native sulfur and had an almost overwhelming odor of H2S. Fumarole samples were collected at both springs. No observations were made, on either visit, of the summit area, which was always covered by clouds. The observations at Chiles are consistent with a stable system, dominated by hydrothermal processes."

Information Contacts: S. Williams, Louisiana State Univ; J. Stix and E. Fontaine, Univ de Montréal.

Weekly Reports - Index


2014: October | November


5 November-11 November 2014 Citation IconCite this Report


On 4 November Servicio Geológico Colombiano's Observatorio Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Pasto (SGC-OVSP) reported that seismic activity at Cerro Negro de Mayasquer and Chiles volcanoes remained elevated. Since 29 September 2014 about 132,000 earthquakes had been detected, with 3,200 of those events occurring on 4 November. During the previous week hypocenters were located 0.3-6.3 km S and SW of Chiles, at depths of 3-9 km below the summit. Local magnitudes were between 0.7 and 4.6. The Alert Level remained at Orange (level 3 of 4).

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)


22 October-28 October 2014 Citation IconCite this Report


Based on reports from Observatorio Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Pasto (SGC-OVSP), and the Instituto Geofísico de la Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IGEPN), on 26 October Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC) stated that seismic activity at Cerro Negro de Mayasquer and Chiles volcanoes continued at a high rate. Since 29 September 2014 about 81,000 earthquakes had been detected with 6,300 of those events occurring on 25 October. The epicenter was 2-3.5 km S of Chiles. Interferometry (INSAR) and a high resolution GPS network both showed localized deformation S of Chiles. The Alert Level remained at Orange (level 3 of 4).

A news article from 23 October noted that 3,500 families had been evacuated from the Chiles, Panam, and Mayasquer communities.

Sources: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC); Colombia Reports


15 October-21 October 2014 Citation IconCite this Report


On 20 October Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC) reported that a M 5.8 earthquake, the largest to date, occurred in the vicinity of the Cerro Negro de Mayasquer and Chiles volcanoes at a depth of less than 10 km. The event was felt to the N in Pasto (Colombia) and to the S in Quito (Ecuador). On 21 October SGC raised the Alert Level for the volcanic complex to Orange (level 3 of 4) noting that a seismic swarm characterized by 4,300 earthquakes was detected in an 18-hour period. Hypocenters were located 1-4 km SW of Chiles volcano at depths of 3-5 km and local magnitudes between M 0.2 and 4.5. Inhabitants felt 11 of the events. On 22 October a report noted that the total number of earthquakes recorded on 21 October reached 7,717, which was the largest number of earthquakes recorded on one day since the installation of a local seismic network in November 2013. Several swarms have occurred in the area since February 2013.

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)


Bulletin Reports - Index


Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

08/1990 (BGVN 15:08) H2S-rich hot springs at Pleistocene volcano




Information is preliminary and subject to change. All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


August 1990 (BGVN 15:08) Citation IconCite this Report


H2S-rich hot springs at Pleistocene volcano

"In April 1988 and again on 3 April 1990 we visited two hydrothermal springs [on Chiles] and collected samples. The first, La Calera, is a developed hot spring with baths just W of the town of Chiles and 8 km E of the crater of Chiles volcano, at 3,180 m elev. The maximum temperature was 40°C and pH was 6.2. No significant sulfur deposition was observed at the natural source of hot water, ~ 100 m uphill from the commercial baths. The second site, La Hedionda, was unsuccessfully developed as a tourist bath area, reputedly failing because of deadly levels of H2S. It is 3.5 km E of the crater, at 3,470 m elevation. The uppermost hot spring, with a temperature of 54°C and pH of 5.1, was sampled. These acid sulfate springs were actively depositing native sulfur and had an almost overwhelming odor of H2S. Fumarole samples were collected at both springs. No observations were made, on either visit, of the summit area, which was always covered by clouds. The observations at Chiles are consistent with a stable system, dominated by hydrothermal processes."

Information Contacts: S. Williams, Louisiana State Univ; J. Stix and E. Fontaine, Univ de Montréal.

Eruptive History


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


Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1936 Jul 17 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Volcano Uncertain: possibly Reventador

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.

Photo Gallery


The summit of Cerro Negro de Mayasquer volcano is truncated by a caldera that is breached to the west. This view from the NW shows snow-capped Volcán Chiles at the upper left. Eruptive activity at these twin volcanoes has migrated to the west, with the most recent eruptions occurring from Cerro Negro de Mayasquer. A small crater lake is found at the bottom of the 900 x 1500-m-wide caldera. An eruption that was reported from the volcano in 1936 may actually have been from Reventador volcano to the SE.

Photo by Minard Hall, 1985 (Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito)
See title for photo information.
Cerro Negro de Mayasquer (Ieft) and snow-capped Volcán Chiles (right), seen here from the south, are twin volcanoes that straddle the Colombia-Ecuador border. Chiles volcano is of Pleistocene age, but has hot springs and an active hydrothermal system on its eastern flank. Cerro Negro de Mayasquer is a stratovolcano with a caldera open to the west. Andesitic and dacitic lava flows are of possible Holocene age. Solfataras are found on the shore of a small crater lake.

Photo by Minard Hall, 1985 (Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito)
See title for photo information.
Cerro Negro de Mayasquer is the youngest of a pair of twin volcanoes along the Ecuador-Colombia border. It is seen here from the Ecuadorian side on the south. The long ridge to the left of its summit is the rim of a horseshoe-shaped caldera that is breached to the NW.

Photo by Minard Hall, 1985 (Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito)
See title for photo information.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


There are no samples for Chiles-Cerro Negro in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

Affiliated Sites