Nevados Ojos del Salado

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 27.109°S
  • 68.541°W

  • 6879 m
    22563 ft

  • 355130
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Nevados Ojos del Salado.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Nevados Ojos del Salado.

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.

11/1993 (BGVN 18:11) Intermittent vapor-and-gas column observed for 3 hours

Contents of Monthly Reports

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

11/1993 (BGVN 18:11) Intermittent vapor-and-gas column observed for 3 hours

An intermittent gray column composed of water vapor and solfataric gases was observed for 3 hours on the evening of 14 November 1993. A similar, but less intense column was witnessed on 16 November by observers at the Servicio Agrícola Ganadero (Farm Service Office) and the local police station in Maricunga, 30 km from the volcano.

Information Contacts: Director, Servicio Informativo del la Oficina Nacional de Emergencia, Santiago.

The world's highest active volcano, Nevados Ojos del Salado, rises to 6,879 m along the Chile-Argentina border. The volcano lies about 20 km south of the road that crosses the international border at Paso de San Francisco. The summit complex, which is elongated in a NE-SW direction and overlies a largely buried caldera, contains numerous craters, pyroclastic cones and andesitic-to-rhyolitic lava domes and has been the source of Holocene lava flows. A major rhyodacitic explosive eruption about 1000-1500 years ago produced pumiceous pyroclastic flows. The most recent eruptive activity appears to have originated along a NNE-trending rift along the summit complex. It involved formation of a thick, viscous lava flow and at least a dozen small cones, lava domes, and explosion craters. No confirmed historical eruptions have been recorded, but the volcano has displayed persistent fumarolic activity, and there was an unconfirmed report of minor gas-and-ash emission in 1993.

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1993 Nov 14 ] [ 1993 Nov 14 ] Uncertain 1  
0750 ± 250 years 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.

Ojo del Salado

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Muerto, Volcán el Stratovolcano 6789 m 27° 4' 0" S 68° 30' 0" W
Dacitic pumice from Holocene eruptions of Nevados Ojos del Salado volcano lines the shores of Laguna Verde, NNE of the volcano. The lake lies near the Chile-Argentina border, between Mulas Muertas and Falso Azufre volcanoes.

Photo by Oscar González-Ferrán (University of Chile).
The dacitic volcanic complex of El Muerto abuts Nevados Ojos del Salado volcano on the east and NE. The summit of this massive complex contains dacitic lava domes and is cut by a 2.5-km-long depression containing a dozen eruptive centers; an additional two dozen centers lie outside the depression. Lava flows from these centers cover an area of 120 sq km. The summit lava domes are of Pleistocene age, but the complex is cut by ENE-trending fractures that formed during Holocene eruptions of Ojos del Salado.

Photo by Oscar González-Ferrán (University of Chile).
The NW side of Nevados Ojos del Salado volcano rises above Pliocene ignimbrites and pyroclastic deposits of the Barranca Blanca. These deposits are overlain by dacitic pyroclastic-flow deposits from Ojos del Salado. A break in slope about half way up the volcano is the rim of a somma, inside which the modern edifice was constructed. Dacitic lava flows from the summit cone periodically overtopped the somma rim.

Photo by Oscar González-Ferrán (University of Chile).
The world's highest Holocene volcano, Nevados Ojos del Salado, rises to 6887 m along the border between Chile and Argentina. The summit complex, which is elongated in a NE-SW direction, is seen here from the NW. The massive volcanic complex contains numerous craters, cones, and andesitic and dacitic lava domes. No historical eruptions have been recorded, but the volcano is fumarolically active.

Photo by Oscar González-Ferrán (University of Chile).

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.

Baker P E, Gonzalez-Ferran O, Rex D C, 1987. Geology and geochemistry of the Ojos del Salado volcanic region, Chile. J Geol Soc London, 144: 85-96.

Casertano L, 1963a. Chilean Continent. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 15: 1-55.

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.

Volcano Types

Lava dome(s)
Pyroclastic cone(s)

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 Nevados Ojos del Salado 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.