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  • Chile
  • South America
  • Stratovolcano(es)
  • Unknown - Uncertain Evidence
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 24.188°S
  • 68.054°W

  • 6233 m
    20444 ft

  • 355107
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Pular.

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

Index of Monthly Reports

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.

06/1990 (BGVN 15:06) Ash emission

01/1991 (BGVN 16:01) April eruption reports probably false

Contents of Monthly Reports

All information contained in these reports is preliminary and subject to change.

All times are local (= UTC - 4 hours)

06/1990 (BGVN 15:06) Ash emission

Witnesses reported that "on 24 April at 1100 on a clear day with no clouds, a small eruption took place from Pular. It produced an explosion heard at El Laco (a Pacific Mining Company iron mine located 75 km NE; figure 3) and a column of black smoke that lasted just a few minutes above the summit, similar to those observed recently from Lascar." [but see 16:01] Geologists noted that the source of the 24 April eruption remains uncertain. Pular is believed to be Pleistocene in age.

Figure 1. Sketch map of a portion of N Chile showing the locations of Pular and nearby volcanoes, and El Laco and other population centers. Courtesy of M. Gardeweg.

The summit and flanks show signs of deep glacial erosion, including lateral moraines as low as 4,100 m. Pular is the northernmost member of the chain of volcanoes that bears the same name (Cordon Pular). None of the chain has had historic volcanic activity. Cerro Pajonales (24.20°S, 68.10°W), a satellite vent of Pular (5 km SW of the summit; figures 2 and 3), is a lava and dome complex believed to be Quaternary in age. Although evidence of glaciation has been noted on Cerro Pajonales, geologists believed it to be a more likely source of the recent activity.

Figure 2. Sketch map of Pular from the Sierra Almeida quadrangle (map SG-19-3-4, 1:250,000, Instituto Geográfico Militar, Chile).
Figure 3. Geology map of Pular and surrounding region. Based on Gardeweg and others (in prep.) and Ramirez (1988).

References. Gardeweg, M., Ramirez, C.F., and Davidson, J., in prep., Hoja Sierra de Almeida, Region de Antofagasta (1:250,000): Carta Geológica de Chile, Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería.

Ramirez, C.F., 1988, Evidencias de Glaciación en el Macizo de los Volcanes Pular y Pajonales, Región de Antofagasta: Actas V Congr. Geol. Chileno, Tomo II, p. D143-D157.

Information Contacts: M. Gardeweg, SERNAGEOMIN, Santiago; Vinicio Travisany, CMP (Pacific Mining Company).

01/1991 (BGVN 16:01) April eruption reports probably false

During field observations between 15 and 27 November 1990 no eruptive activity was observed . . . . Reports of miners working SW of Pular (closer than the April witnesses, who were 75 km NE) suggest that the 24 April eruption never took place.

Information Contacts: M. Gardeweg, SERNAGEOMIN, Santiago.

Cerros Pular on the NE and Pajonales on the SW form a 12-km-long volcanic ridge that is mostly pre-Holocene, but may show evidence for some Holocene activity. The chain lies NW of the Salar de Pular, about 15 km west of the Argentinian border. Andesitic lava flows from the chain, which lies NE of Socompa volcano, overlie dacitic lava domes. The extensive lava flows reach the lower flanks of the chain, and about 10 craters are present. A major satellite vent west of the ridge, also known as Cerro Pajonales, appears to be the youngest feature of the volcanic complex. An uncertain small explosive eruption was reported in 1990, but the vent location was not known.

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1990 Apr 24 ] [ 1990 Apr 24 ] Uncertain 1  

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
Pajanales, Cerro Stratovolcano 5732 m 24° 12' 0" S 67° 6' 0" W
Pajonales, Cerro Stratovolcano 5958 m 24° 14' 0" S 68° 7' 0" W
The peaks with scattered snowfields near the center of this NASA Landsat image (with north to the top) are Cerro Pular on the NE and Cerrp Pajonales on the SW. The 12-km-long volcanic ridge lies NW of Salar de Pular (lower right) and NE of Socompa volcano, source of the lobate lava flows visible at the extreme lower left. Andesitic lava flows from the Pular-Pajonales chain overlie dacitic lava domes. An uncertain small explosive eruption was reported in 1990, but the vent location was not known.

NASA Landsat7 image (worldwind.arc.nasa.gov)

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.

de Silva S L, 2007. . (pers. comm.).

de Silva S L, Francis P W, 1991. Volcanoes of the Central Andes. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 216 p.

Gonzalez-Ferran O, 1995. Volcanes de Chile. Santiago: Instituto Geografico Militar, 635 p.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Smithsonian Institution-GVN, 1990-. [Monthly event reports]. Bull Global Volc Network, v 15-33.

Volcano Types


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

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Pular 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.