Payun Matru

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 36.422°S
  • 69.241°W

  • 3715 m
    12185 ft

  • 357066
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Payun Matru.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Payun Matru.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Payun Matru.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



5050 BCE

3715 m / 12185 ft


Volcano Types

Pyroclastic cone(s)
Lava dome(s)

Rock Types

Trachybasalt / Tephrite Basanite
Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Trachyte / Trachyandesite
Trachyandesite / Basaltic trachy-andesite
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

The Payún Matrú volcanic field in Argentina includes a massive hawaiian-style shield volcano that lies 530 km from the oceanic trench. The 8 x 10 km alkaline caldera of Cerro Payún Matrú was formed after about 168,000 years ago. The high point of the massif, Cerro Payen stratovolcano, was constructed on the SW flank of the shield. The Pleistocene Pampas Onduladas pahoehoe lava flow traveled 181 km, Earth's longest known Quaternary lava flow. Post-caldera basaltic eruptions produced more than 300 eruptive centers, mostly along E-W-trending fissures that extend across the entire shield volcano. Fluid aa lava flows from a youthful concentration of vents on the W flank known as Los Volcanes traveled more than 10 km. Other vent clusters of the 5200 sq km volcanic field are found on the lower NE and southern flanks, and a lava flow from Volcán Santa María on the NW flank traveled 15 km to the NE. At least 30 trachyandesitic lava domes and basaltic lava flows were erupted contemporaneously with the basaltic fissure eruptions. The Puente and Chapua volcanic units east of the main shield and south of the Ondulas flow are considered part of the field. Oral traditions note that native tribes were present at the time of the latest eruption.


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

Germa A, Quidelleur X, Gillot P Y, Tchilinguirian P, 2007. Volcanic evolution of the back-arc Pleistocene Payun Matru volcanic field (Argentina). Journal of South American Earth Sciences 29, 717-730.

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

Hernando I R, Llambias E J, Gonzalez P D, Sato K, 2012. Volcanic stratigraphy and evidence of magma mixing in the Quaternary Payún Matrú volcano, andean backarc in western Argentina. Andean Geology 39(1), 158-179.

Inbar M, Risso C, 2001. A morphological and morphometeric analysis of a high density cinder cone volcanic field - Payun Matru, south-central Andes, Argentina. Zeit Geomorph, 45: 321-343.

Moreno H, 1985. (pers. comm.).

Pasquare G, Bistacchi A, Francalanci L, Bertotto G W, Boari E, Massironi M, Rossotti A, 2008. Very long pahoehoe inflated basaltic lava flows in the Payena volcanic province (Mendoza and La Pampa, Argentina). Rev Asso Geol Argentina, 63: 131-149.

Ramos V A, Folguera A, 2011. Payenia volcanic province in the Southern Andes: An appraisal of an exceptional Quaternary tectonic setting. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 201, 53-64.

Eruptive History

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
5050 BCE ± 1000 years Unknown Confirmed 0 Potassium-Argon Escorial del Matru caldera

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
Agua de Torres Pyroclastic cone
Agua Poca Vent
Aguila, El Pyroclastic cone
Amarillo Pyroclastic cone
Blanca, La Pyroclastic cone
Chato Pyroclastic cone
Chato Segundo Pyroclastic cone
Chivo, del Pyroclastic cone
Corrales, Los Pyroclastic cone
Diaz, De Pyroclastic cone
Escorial Pyroclastic cone
Huanul Vent
Jagüel del Moro, Loma Shield volcano
Laguna, De la Vent
Lindero, El Pyroclastic cone
Morado Pyroclastic cone
Morados Grandes, Los Cone 36° 24' 0" S 69° 6' 0" W
Nariz, La Cone 36° 24' 0" S 69° 9' 0" W
Negra, La Pyroclastic cone
Negro Pyroclastic cone
Nido, Del Pyroclastic cone
Nire Co Pyroclastic cone
Oscuro, El Pyroclastic cone
Parva, La Vent
Payún, Cerro
    Payen, Cerro
    Payún Liso
Stratovolcano 3796 m 36° 30' 51" S 69° 17' 9" W
Peludo, El Pyroclastic cone
Pozo, El Pyroclastic cone
Puntudo Pyroclastic cone
Rial Pyroclastic cone
Santa María, Volcán Cone 36° 18' 6" S 69° 19' 12" W
Tapa Vent
Tordillo Pyroclastic cone
Yegua, La Pyroclastic cone


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Payun Matru Caldera

Photo Gallery

The 3680-m-high Cerro Payún Matru volcanic complex in Argentina includes an 8 x 10 km wide caldera that cuts an alkaline shield volcano. Post-caldera basaltic eruptions produced more than 150 eruptive centers, including lava domes and pyroclastic cones. The E-W-trending fissures that extend across the entire shield volcano produced numerous youthful-looking lava flows visible in this NASA Space Shuttle image. A lava flow from Volcán Santa María that traveled 15 km to the NE is prominent at the top of the image.

NASA Space Shuttle image ISS006-E-6773, 2002 (

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

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

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Payun Matru 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.