Parinacota

Photo of this volcano
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 18.166°S
  • 69.142°W

  • 6336 m
    20782 ft

  • 355012
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Parinacota.

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

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

Eruptive History


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


Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
0290 ± 300 years Unknown Confirmed 0 Surface Exposure Parinacota 3 edifice
0090 ± 50 years Unknown Confirmed   Anthropology South flank (upper Volcanes de Ajata)
1100 BCE ± 500 years Unknown Confirmed   Surface Exposure South flank (lower Volcanes de Ajata)
2000 BCE Unknown Confirmed   Ar/Ar Young Cone
4320 BCE ± 1200 years Unknown Confirmed   Surface Exposure South flank (lower Volcanes de Ajata)
5840 BCE ± 50 years 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


Symmetrical Volcán Parinacota rises north of Lake Chungará in the foreground. The lake was formed when collapse of an ancestral Parinacota edifice about 8000 years ago produced a massive 5-6 cu km debris avalanche that dammed a preexisting river. Subsequent eruptions of andesitic aa lava flows and andesitic pumice and scoria flows constructed the modern conical edifice, obscuring the avalanche source scarp. The summit of Parinacota volcano contains a pristine, 300-m-wide crater.

Photo by John Davidson, University of Michigan (courtesy of Hugo Moreno, University of Chile).
See title for photo information.
The Nevados de Payachata volcanic group in northern Chile, seen here from the west, consists of the symmetrical, 6348-m-high Parinacota volcano (right) and its older twin volcano, Pleistocene 6222-m-high Pomerape volcano (left). The young cone of Parinacota post-dates collapse of an older edifice about 8000 years ago. The most recent activity at Parinacota produced a series of fresh-looking lava flows from satellitic cones on the south and SW flanks.

Photo by Oscar González-Ferrán (University of Chile).
See title for photo information.
Volcán Pomerape is the northernmost of twin stratovolcanoes forming the Nevados de Payachata along the Chile-Bolivia border. The 6282-m-high Pomerape lies across a saddle from Parinacota volcano, out of view to the right. The glacially dissected Pomerape was constructed above a base of dacitic-rhyolitic lava domes. The dominantly andesitic stratovolcano is capped by dacitic breccias and is of dominantly Pleistocene age.

Photo by Oscar González-Ferrán (University of Chile).
See title for photo information.
The southern side of conical, glacier-clad Parinacota volcano is seen from south of Laguna Changará, with its twin volcano, Pomerape, visible in the distance behind its right-hand flank. A complex of lighter colored dacitic-rhyolitic lava domes can be seen at the SW flank of Parinacota (middle left). The main cone of Parinacota was constructed during the Holocene primarily by the effusion of andesitic lava flows following collapse of an earlier edifice. The youngest of these flows was dated at between 1300 and 2000 years ago.

Photo by Oscar González-Ferrán (University of Chile).
See title for photo information.
A dark-colored andesitic volcanic bomb, ejected in a plastic state with a ballistic trajectory, drapes older rhyolitic rocks. The bomb was ejected during the Ajata volcanic eruptions. Helium surface-exposure ages ranging between about 1385 and 6500 years ago were obtained from the three lava flows erupted from the Volcanes de Ajata. Note the ice axe for scale (right-center).

Photo by Oscar González-Ferrán (University of Chile).
See title for photo information.
This viscous andesitic aa flow was erupted from the Volcanes de Ajata cinder cones along a N-S fracture on the southern flank of Parinacota. Helium-exposure ages of about 5985 and 6500 years ago were obtained from the lowermost and oldest of three lava flows of the Volcanes de Ajata. Snow-capped Acotango, Sajama, and Guallatiri volcanoes form the horizon to the east.

Photo by Oscar González-Ferrán (University of Chile).
See title for photo information.
The Nevados de Payachata volcanic group, the scenic highlight of Lauca National Park, is seen here from the SW and consists of the symmetrical, 6348-m-high Parinacota volcano (right) and its older twin volcano, Pleistocene 6222-m-high Pomerape volcano (left). Collapse of Parinacota about 8000 years ago produced a 6 cu km debris avalanche that formed the hummocky terrain in the foreground, with the colorful Llareta plant at the lower right. Hummocks in this medial portion of the avalanche deposit are about 50-100 m high.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 2004 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
Glacier-clad Volcán Parinacota rises to the NE above Laguna Chungará near the Chile-Bolivia border. The lake was formed when collapse of Parinacota about 8000 years ago produced a 6 cu km debris avalanche that traveled 22 km to the west and blocked drainages. Subsequent eruptions constructed the 6348-m-high symmetrical stratovolcano, which towers above late-Pleistocene andesitic-to-rhyolitic lava domes and flows in the middle ground.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 2004 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
The twin snow-capped volcanoes of the Nevados de Payachata volcanic group dominate this NASA Space Shuttle image (with north to the bottom). A prominent summit crater tops symmetrical Parinacota volcano, constructed to the SW of its eroded Pleistocene twin, Pomerape volcano. Silicic lava flows from Parinacota form lobes extending into Laguna Chungará, which was formed when a major debris avalanche from Parinacota blocked drainages. The hummocky debris-avalanche deposit covers much of the lower right part of the image.

NASA Space Shuttle image ISS009-E-6837, 2004 (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/).
See title for photo information.
Snow capped volcanoes dot this NASA Space Shuttle image (with north to the upper right) taken along the Chile-Bolivia border. The snow-capped peak at the far left-center is Guallatiri volcano, and to its right are the three peaks of Nevados Quimsachata, which includes Acotango volcano. The twin peaks at the upper left are Pomerape and Parinacota, with Laguna Chungara below. Nevado del Sajama in Bolivia lies at the upper right-center. At the lower right is the snow-free volcano of Macizo de Larancagua.

NASA Space Shuttle image ISS009-E-6848, 2004 (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/).
See title for photo information.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


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

Affiliated Sites