Payún Matru

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 36.42°S
  • 69.2°W

  • 3715 m
    12185 ft

  • 357066
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

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

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

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

Geological Background

Cerro Payún Matru is a massive hawaiian-style shield volcano in Argentina that lies 530 km from the oceanic trench. The 8 x 10 km alkaline caldera of Cerro Payún Matru was formed after about 168,000 years ago. The high point of the massif is Cerro Payún stratovolcano, constructed over 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 west 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. Oral traditions note that native tribes were present at the time of the latest eruption.

The Global Volcanism Program is not aware of any Holocene eruptions from Payún Matru. If this volcano has had large eruptions (VEI >= 4) prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found on the Payún Matru page in the LaMEVE (Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions) database, a part of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).

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
Morados Grandes, Los Cone 36° 24' 0" S 69° 6' 0" W
Nariz, La Cone 36° 24' 0" S 69° 9' 0" W
Payún, Cerro Stratovolcano 3796 m -36° 30' 51" S -69° 17' 9" W
Santa María, Volcán Cone 36° 15' 0" S 69° 22' 0" W

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 (


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.

Germa A, Quidelleur X, Gillot P-Y, Tchilinguirian P, 2007. Volcanic evolution of the back-arc complex of Payun Matru (Argentina) and its geodyanmic implications for caldera-forming eruption in a complex slab geometry setting. IUGG 2007, Perugia, abstr 6761.

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

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.

Volcano Types

Pyroclastic cone(s)
Lava dome(s)

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

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


Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Payún 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).
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.