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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 0.375°S
  • 78.25°W

  • 4643 m
    15229 ft

  • 352022
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Chacana.

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

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

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



1773 CE

4643 m / 15229 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

Chacana is a massive, eroded caldera complex of Pliocene-Holocene age that forms one of the largest rhyolitic centers of the northern Andes. The caldera is 32-km long in the N-S direction and 18-24 km wide in the E-W direction. Chacana was constructed during three cycles of andesitic-to-rhyolitic volcanism, with major eruptions about 240,000, 180,00, and 160,000 years ago. Dacitic lava flows were erupted from caldera-floor fissures between about 30,000 and 21,000 years ago. Numerous lava domes were constructed within the caldera, which has been the source of frequent explosive eruptions throughout the Holocene as well as historical lava flows during the 18th century. The massive Antisana stratovolcano was constructed immediately to the SE.


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

Beate B, Salgado R, 2005. Geothermal country update for Ecuador, 2000-2005. Proc World Geotherm Cong 2005, Antalya, Turkey, 24-29 April 2005, 5 p.

Hall M L, 1992. (pers. comm.).

Hall M L, Mothes P, 1997. Chacana caldera--the largest rhyolitic eruptive center in the northern Andes. IAVCEI 1997 General Assembly, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Abs, p 14.

Hantke G, Parodi I, 1966. Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 19: 1-73.

Eruptive History

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1773 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations South part of caldera
1760 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations SW flank
0050 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology
1580 BCE ± 10 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
8050 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology

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
Boliche Dome 4100 m 0° 25' 37" S 78° 16' 41" W
Caparina Dome 4265 m 0° 16' 37" S 78° 13' 19" W
Nunurco Dome 3760 m 0° 18' 43" S 78° 17' 0" W
Porterillos Dome 4370 m 0° 18' 54" S 78° 11' 17" W
Toro Pugro Dome 4100 m 0° 22' 19" S 78° 16' 41" W
Yarangalu Dome 4493 m 0° 12' 40" S 78° 11' 2" W


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Papallacta Thermal

Photo Gallery

The floor of the massive Chacana caldera is seen here in the foreground, looking SE with glacier-covered Antisana volcano in the distance. Chacana is a 32 x 24 km caldera complex of Pliocene-Holocene age. Its outer flanks extend over 50 km, making it one of the largest rhyolitic centers of the northern Andes. Numerous lava domes were constructed within the caldera, which has been the source of frequent Holocene explosive eruptions. Dacitic lava flows were erupted during the 18th century and numerous hot springs are found on the caldera floor.

Photo by Minard Hall, 1976 (Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

The following 2 samples associated with this volcano can be found in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections. Catalog number links will open a window with more information.

Catalog Number Sample Description
NMNH 117456-4 Obsidian
NMNH 117551-49 Obsidian

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Chacana 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.