Socompa volcano

Updated: Jul 6, 2022 08:12 GMT - Refresh
stratovolcano 6051 m / 19,852 ft
Northern Chile, Bolivia and Argentina (South America), -24.4°S / -68.25°W
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)

Socompa is a massive stratovolcano on the Chile/Argentina border. It is located at the southeastern end of the Atacama Basin and immediately north of the only railway line between Chile and Argentina.
The dacite volcano is known for having the world's largest and best preserved debris avalanche deposit in the world.
No historical eruptions are known from Socompa.

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Typical eruption style: explosive
Socompa volcano eruptions: 5250 BC (?)
Lastest nearby earthquakes:
TimeMag. / DepthDistance/Location
Tuesday, July 5, 2022 GMT (1 quake)
Jul 5, 2022 5:00 pm (GMT -3) (Jul 5, 2022 20:00 GMT)
3.0

231 km
67 km (42 mi)
Antofagasta, Chile, 133 km west of San Antonio de los Cobres, Departamento de Los Andes, Salta, Argentina
Monday, July 4, 2022 GMT (2 quakes)
Jul 4, 2022 11:12 am (GMT -3) (Jul 4, 2022 14:12 GMT)
3.6

215 km
67 km (42 mi)
228 km west of Salta, Departamento Capital, Salta, Argentina
Jul 4, 2022 8:55 am (GMT -3) (Jul 4, 2022 11:55 GMT)
3.3

223 km
66 km (41 mi)
Antofagasta, Chile, 132 km west of San Antonio de los Cobres, Departamento de Los Andes, Salta, Argentina
Friday, July 1, 2022 GMT (1 quake)
Jul 1, 2022 11:10 am (GMT -3) (Jul 1, 2022 14:10 GMT)
3.1

234 km
34 km (21 mi)
146 km south of San Pedro de Atacama, Provincia de El Loa, Antofagasta, Chile
Wednesday, June 22, 2022 GMT (1 quake)
Jun 22, 2022 11:35 am (GMT -3) (Jun 22, 2022 14:35 GMT)
3.0

158 km
47 km (29 mi)
244 km west of Salta, Departamento Capital, Salta, Argentina

Background

Socompa is the youngest and southernmost of a 6000-m-high NE-SW-trending chain of volcanoes including also Pular and Pajonales volcanoes. In contrast to the latter 2 volcanoes, no glacial moraines have been detected on the relatively uneroded Socompa volcano.

The Socompa debris avalanche deposit
Collapse of the NW portion of Socompa volcano occurred about 7200 years ago, during an eruption similar to that at Mount St. Helens in 1980. Before the eruption, the mountain had an estimated height of 6300 m. It produced a debris avalanche that flowed down for 40 km to elevations of between 3100-3400 m into the Monturaqui Basin. The deposit covers a total of 600 sq km. Eruptions after the collapse have constructed dacitic lava domes and filled much of the upper portion of the collapse scarp. It is the largest known of its kind debris avalanche deposit on earth.

High altitude photoautotrophic communities at Socompa
Fumarolic activity between 5750-6060 m at Socompa's summit supports the growth of mat-like photoautotrophic communities. They are the world's highest known autotrophic communities and include mosses, liverworts, algae, fungi, and lichens.
Such extremely harsh environments where hydrothermal systems combine with aridity, cold temperatures, high UV radiation and low atmospheric pressure are unique habitats for life on Earth and represent interesting analogs for habitable zones on Mars.
Source: Costello et al (2009) "Fumarole-Supported Islands of Biodiversity within a Hyperarid, High-Elevation Landscape on Socompa Volcano, Puna de Atacama, Andes" APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, Feb. 2009, pp 735–747


See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8 | NASA FIRMS
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