Cuicocha

Photo of this volcano
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 0.308°N
  • 78.364°W

  • 3246 m
    10647 ft

  • 352003
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Cuicocha.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Cuicocha.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Cuicocha.

Eruptive History


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


Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
0650 (?) Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
0950 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
1150 BCE ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed 5 Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
2550 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)

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


An explosive eruption about 2900 years ago produced widespread tephra and pyroclastic surges. Subsequently a group of four dacitic lava domes was constructed within Cuicocha caldera. This marks the latest known activity from the caldera. The eastern two domes are seen here from the SE rim of the caldera. The lava domes form two forested islands in the center of the 3-km-wide caldera.

Photo by Tom Pierson, 1992 (U.S. Geological Survey).
See title for photo information.
Sharp-peaked Cotacachi stratovolcano rises above the caldera lake of Cuicocha volcano. The northern caldera wall truncates the flank of the heavily eroded Cotacachi. The caldera was formed during powerful explosive eruptions about 3100 years ago that produced 4.8 cu km of pumice-rich pyroclastic flows and airfall tephra that blanket the surrounding countryside.

Photo by Tom Pierson, 1992 (U.S. Geological Survey).
See title for photo information.
Scenic lake-filled Cuicocha caldera is located at the southern foot of the sharp-peaked Pleistocene Cotacachi stratovolcano. The caldera was created about 3100 years ago and contains a cluster of intra-caldera dacitic lava domes that form two islands in the large lake. A pre-caldera Cuicocha lava dome is situated on the east side of the lake (right). Pyroclastic-flow deposits cover wide areas around the volcano. The northern caldera rim truncates the heavily eroded slopes of Cotocachi volcano.

Photo by Minard Hall, 1985 (Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito).
See title for photo information.
The scenic lake-filled Cuicocha caldera is located at the southern foot of the sharp-peaked Pleistocene Cotacachi stratovolcano (top center) about 100 km north of Quito. Farmer's fields encroach on the rim of the 3-km-wide caldera, which was created during a major explosive eruption about 3100 years ago. Dacitic lava domes form two forested islands in the caldera lake. Pyroclastic-flow deposits from the caldera-forming eruptions cover wide areas in now populated areas below the low-rimmed caldera.

Photo by Patricio Ramon, 2003 (Instituto Geofisca, Escuela Politecnica Nacional).
See title for photo information.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


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

Affiliated Sites