Socompa volcano

stratovolcano 6051 m / 19,852 ft
Chile / Argentinien (Norden) + Bolivien, Südamerika, -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.

Show interactive Map
[hide map] [enlarge]
Typical eruption style: explosive
Socompa volcano eruptions: 5250 BC (?)

Latest nearby earthquakes

TimeMag. / DepthDistance/Location
Sun, 20 Jun 2021 (GMT) (1 earthquake)
19/06/2021 23:03:38 (20 Jun 2021 02:03:38 GMT)
3.4

163 km
41 km (25 mi)
Departamento de Los Andes, 253 km west of Salta, Departamento Capital, Salta, Argentina
Thu, 17 Jun 2021 (GMT) (1 earthquake)
17 Jun 2021 00:30:32 GMT
2.5

2 km
26 km (16 mi)
Provincia de Antofagasta, 209 km southeast of Calama, Provincia de El Loa, Antofagasta, Chile

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
Show more
Try our free app!
Volcanoes & Earthquakes - new app for Android
Android | iOS version

More on VolcanoDiscovery

Why is there advertising on this site?
Support us - Help us upgrade our services!
We truly love working to bring you the latest volcano and earthquake data from around the world. Maintaining our website and our free apps does require, however, considerable time and resources.
We need financing to increase hard- and software capacity as well as support our editor team. We're aiming to achieve uninterrupted service wherever an earthquake or volcano eruption unfolds, and your donations can make it happen! Every donation will be highly appreciated. If you find the information useful and would like to support our team in integrating further features, write great content, and in upgrading our soft- and hardware, please make a donation (PayPal or Online credit card payment).

Planned features:
  • Weather reports
  • Tsunami alerts
  • Design upgrades
  • Faster responsiveness
Thanks to your past donations, these features have been added recently:
  • Earthquake archive from 1900 onwards
  • Additional seismic data sources
  • Improved content in English
Download and Upgrade the Volcanoes & Earthquakes app to get one of the fastest seismic and volcano alerts online:
Android | IOS
Thank you!
Copyrights: VolcanoDiscovery and other sources as noted.
Use of material: Most texts and images, in particular photographs, on this website are protected by copyright. Further reproduction and use of without authorization is usually not consented. If you are not sure or need licensing rights for photographs, for example for publications and commercial use, please contact us.