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Chiles-Cerro Negro

Photo of this volcano
  • Country
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  •  
  • 0.817°N
  • 77.938°W

  • 4698 m
    15413 ft

  • 351110
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number
Most Recent Weekly Report: 20 July-26 July 2022 Citation IconCite this Report

Instituto Geofísico de la Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IGEPN) and the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto del Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC OVSP) both monitor the Cerro Negro de Mayasquer and Chiles volcanoes, called the Chiles-Cerro Negro volcanic complex (CCNVC), and both issued reports on the seismic swarm that began on 27 May. This seismicity was mainly characterized by VT earthquakes, typically indicating rock fracturing events. The swarm continued during 12-26 July, though the number and size of events were variable. The earthquakes were located along a fracture zone on and as far as 3.5 km S of Chiles volcano, at depths less than 6 km. The number of long-period (LP) and very-long-period (VLP) earthquakes, low-energy events indicating fluid movement, had increased in the previous two weeks; 60 of such events were recorded on 17 July, the highest daily number of events recorded since the beginning of permanent monitoring in November 2013, and 64 were recorded in 20 July. During 12-23 July a total of 43 earthquakes had local magnitudes greater than 2; four of those events, a M 3.3 recorded at 1038 on 16 July, a M 2.8 at 0816 on 22 July, a M 3.5 at 1746 on 22 July, and a M 3 at 2247 on 23 July were all felt in surrounding areas, including in the municipality of Cumbbal, in the department of Nariño. At 0833 on 25 July a M 5.6 was recorded, with a hypocenter located about 10 km S of Tufiño (Carchi province, Ecuador). Building damage was reported in San Gabriel, Tulcán, and El Ángel (Ecuador) and in the Municipalities of Túquerres and Cumbal (Colombia).

Data from continuous GPS geodetic bases located in the vicinity of the Chiles volcano showed a trend of inflation at a rate of approximately 28 mm/year that has been recorded since 2016 (the beginning of deformation monitoring) through the end of 2020, when the deformation stabilized. Neither inflation nor deflation was detected during the beginning of 2020 or in 2021. Inflation was again detected in March, at a rate of 32 mm/year. The rate of inflation notably increased during April-July to an average of 106 mm/year, occurring in at least two deformation zones, one S of Chiles and another in the Potrerillos caldera. The Alert Level remained at 3 (Yellow; the second lowest level on a four-color scale).

Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG), Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)


Most Recent Bulletin Report: August 1990 (BGVN 15:08) Citation IconCite this Report

H2S-rich hot springs at Pleistocene volcano

"In April 1988 and again on 3 April 1990 we visited two hydrothermal springs [on Chiles] and collected samples. The first, La Calera, is a developed hot spring with baths just W of the town of Chiles and 8 km E of the crater of Chiles volcano, at 3,180 m elev. The maximum temperature was 40°C and pH was 6.2. No significant sulfur deposition was observed at the natural source of hot water, ~ 100 m uphill from the commercial baths. The second site, La Hedionda, was unsuccessfully developed as a tourist bath area, reputedly failing because of deadly levels of H2S. It is 3.5 km E of the crater, at 3,470 m elevation. The uppermost hot spring, with a temperature of 54°C and pH of 5.1, was sampled. These acid sulfate springs were actively depositing native sulfur and had an almost overwhelming odor of H2S. Fumarole samples were collected at both springs. No observations were made, on either visit, of the summit area, which was always covered by clouds. The observations at Chiles are consistent with a stable system, dominated by hydrothermal processes."

Information Contacts: S. Williams, Louisiana State Univ; J. Stix and E. Fontaine, Univ de Montréal.

Weekly Reports - Index


2022: June | July
2019: July
2018: November
2014: October | November


20 July-26 July 2022 Citation IconCite this Report

Instituto Geofísico de la Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IGEPN) and the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto del Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC OVSP) both monitor the Cerro Negro de Mayasquer and Chiles volcanoes, called the Chiles-Cerro Negro volcanic complex (CCNVC), and both issued reports on the seismic swarm that began on 27 May. This seismicity was mainly characterized by VT earthquakes, typically indicating rock fracturing events. The swarm continued during 12-26 July, though the number and size of events were variable. The earthquakes were located along a fracture zone on and as far as 3.5 km S of Chiles volcano, at depths less than 6 km. The number of long-period (LP) and very-long-period (VLP) earthquakes, low-energy events indicating fluid movement, had increased in the previous two weeks; 60 of such events were recorded on 17 July, the highest daily number of events recorded since the beginning of permanent monitoring in November 2013, and 64 were recorded in 20 July. During 12-23 July a total of 43 earthquakes had local magnitudes greater than 2; four of those events, a M 3.3 recorded at 1038 on 16 July, a M 2.8 at 0816 on 22 July, a M 3.5 at 1746 on 22 July, and a M 3 at 2247 on 23 July were all felt in surrounding areas, including in the municipality of Cumbbal, in the department of Nariño. At 0833 on 25 July a M 5.6 was recorded, with a hypocenter located about 10 km S of Tufiño (Carchi province, Ecuador). Building damage was reported in San Gabriel, Tulcán, and El Ángel (Ecuador) and in the Municipalities of Túquerres and Cumbal (Colombia).

Data from continuous GPS geodetic bases located in the vicinity of the Chiles volcano showed a trend of inflation at a rate of approximately 28 mm/year that has been recorded since 2016 (the beginning of deformation monitoring) through the end of 2020, when the deformation stabilized. Neither inflation nor deflation was detected during the beginning of 2020 or in 2021. Inflation was again detected in March, at a rate of 32 mm/year. The rate of inflation notably increased during April-July to an average of 106 mm/year, occurring in at least two deformation zones, one S of Chiles and another in the Potrerillos caldera. The Alert Level remained at 3 (Yellow; the second lowest level on a four-color scale).

Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG); Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)


15 June-21 June 2022 Citation IconCite this Report

Instituto Geofísico de la Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IGEPN) and the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto del Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC OVSP) jointly monitor the Cerro Negro de Mayasquer and Chiles volcanoes, called the Chiles-Cerro Negro volcanic complex (CCNVC), and both issued reports on recent increased seismicity that began in May. Earthquakes were first felt on 12 June by residents near the border of Colombia and Ecuador, in the indigenous reservations of Chiles, Panán, and Mayasquer (Colombia), and in Tufiño (Ecuador). Seismicity continued, and from 0205 on 12 June to 0832 on 14 June there were 260 events clustered in two zones, in the S part of CCNVC (at depths of less than 6 km below the CCNVC summit) and about 9 km SE beneath Caldera de Potrerillos (at depths of 7-9 km). The earthquake swarm activity was similar to other swarms recorded since 2013.

A trend of inflation at a rate of approximately 28 mm/year has been recorded since 2016 (the beginning of deformation monitoring) through the end of 2020, when the deformation stabilized. Neither inflation nor deflation was detected during the beginning of 2020 or in 2021. Inflation was again detected in March and was continuing at a rate of 32 mm/year. Data from hydrothermal sites around CCNVC showed variations from previous measurements in gas data, and conductivity, temperature, pH, and morphology of a few of the hot spring locations, though they were a result of changes to the hydrothermal systems and not increased volcanic activity.

Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG); Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)


31 July-6 August 2019 Citation IconCite this Report

Instituto Geofísico de la Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IGEPN) and the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto del Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC OVSP) jointly reported that the most recent seismic swarm below Cerro Negro de Mayasquer and Chiles volcanoes began in September 2018 and continued at least through 1 August. The swarm has consisted of 147,000 earthquakes, recorded up to the time of the report publication, mostly with magnitudes less than 3.6. Notably, at least 91 very-long-period earthquakes and 89 long-period earthquakes have been detected, indicative of a magmatic body at depth. In addition, at 0738 on 25 July a M4 earthquake was located 4 km below the summit of Chiles and felt by residents. About 850 volcano-tectonic events were recorded during 25-28 July.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)


28 November-4 December 2018 Citation IconCite this Report

Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC) reported that a seismic swarm below Cerro Negro de Mayasquer and Chiles volcanoes began at 0100 on 3 December. The events were classified as volcano-tectonic, with epicenters located up to 6 km from the summit of Chiles volcano, at depths of less than 8 km (4.7 km a.s.l.). The maximum local magnitude was 2.3. From the beginning of the swarm until the time of the report posting (1640) there were about 5,400 recorded events, making the swarm the largest since 2015. The report also noted that seismicity had gradually been increasing in recent weeks. The Alert Level remained at Yellow (level 2 of 4).

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)


5 November-11 November 2014 Citation IconCite this Report

On 4 November Servicio Geológico Colombiano's Observatorio Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Pasto (SGC-OVSP) reported that seismic activity at Cerro Negro de Mayasquer and Chiles volcanoes remained elevated. Since 29 September 2014 about 132,000 earthquakes had been detected, with 3,200 of those events occurring on 4 November. During the previous week hypocenters were located 0.3-6.3 km S and SW of Chiles, at depths of 3-9 km below the summit. Local magnitudes were between 0.7 and 4.6. The Alert Level remained at Orange (level 3 of 4).

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)


22 October-28 October 2014 Citation IconCite this Report

Based on reports from Observatorio Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Pasto (SGC-OVSP), and the Instituto Geofísico de la Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IGEPN), on 26 October Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC) stated that seismic activity at Cerro Negro de Mayasquer and Chiles volcanoes continued at a high rate. Since 29 September 2014 about 81,000 earthquakes had been detected with 6,300 of those events occurring on 25 October. The epicenter was 2-3.5 km S of Chiles. Interferometry (INSAR) and a high resolution GPS network both showed localized deformation S of Chiles. The Alert Level remained at Orange (level 3 of 4).

A news article from 23 October noted that 3,500 families had been evacuated from the Chiles, Panam, and Mayasquer communities.

Sources: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC); Colombia Reports


15 October-21 October 2014 Citation IconCite this Report

On 20 October Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC) reported that a M 5.8 earthquake, the largest to date, occurred in the vicinity of the Cerro Negro de Mayasquer and Chiles volcanoes at a depth of less than 10 km. The event was felt to the N in Pasto (Colombia) and to the S in Quito (Ecuador). On 21 October SGC raised the Alert Level for the volcanic complex to Orange (level 3 of 4) noting that a seismic swarm characterized by 4,300 earthquakes was detected in an 18-hour period. Hypocenters were located 1-4 km SW of Chiles volcano at depths of 3-5 km and local magnitudes between M 0.2 and 4.5. Inhabitants felt 11 of the events. On 22 October a report noted that the total number of earthquakes recorded on 21 October reached 7,717, which was the largest number of earthquakes recorded on one day since the installation of a local seismic network in November 2013. Several swarms have occurred in the area since February 2013.

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)


Bulletin Reports - Index

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.

08/1990 (BGVN 15:08) H2S-rich hot springs at Pleistocene volcano




Information is preliminary and subject to change. All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


August 1990 (BGVN 15:08) Citation IconCite this Report

H2S-rich hot springs at Pleistocene volcano

"In April 1988 and again on 3 April 1990 we visited two hydrothermal springs [on Chiles] and collected samples. The first, La Calera, is a developed hot spring with baths just W of the town of Chiles and 8 km E of the crater of Chiles volcano, at 3,180 m elev. The maximum temperature was 40°C and pH was 6.2. No significant sulfur deposition was observed at the natural source of hot water, ~ 100 m uphill from the commercial baths. The second site, La Hedionda, was unsuccessfully developed as a tourist bath area, reputedly failing because of deadly levels of H2S. It is 3.5 km E of the crater, at 3,470 m elevation. The uppermost hot spring, with a temperature of 54°C and pH of 5.1, was sampled. These acid sulfate springs were actively depositing native sulfur and had an almost overwhelming odor of H2S. Fumarole samples were collected at both springs. No observations were made, on either visit, of the summit area, which was always covered by clouds. The observations at Chiles are consistent with a stable system, dominated by hydrothermal processes."

Information Contacts: S. Williams, Louisiana State Univ; J. Stix and E. Fontaine, Univ de Montréal.

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.

Eruptive History

There is data available for 1 Holocene eruptive periods.

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1936 Jul 17 Unknown Confirmed 2 Observations: Reported Volcano Uncertain: possibly Reventador
Deformation History

There is no Deformation History data available for Chiles-Cerro Negro.

Emission History

There is no Emissions History data available for Chiles-Cerro Negro.

GVP Map Holdings

The maps shown below have been scanned from the GVP map archives and include the volcano on this page. Clicking on the small images will load the full 300 dpi map. Very small-scale maps (such as world maps) are not included. The maps database originated over 30 years ago, but was only recently updated and connected to our main database. We welcome users to tell us if they see incorrect information or other problems with the maps; please use the Contact GVP link at the bottom of the page to send us email.


Title: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela
Publisher: DMA Aerospace Center
Country: S America
Year: 1981
Series: ONC
Map Type: Navigation
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela
Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

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

External Sites