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Elevation: 5,897 m (19,347 ft)
Latitude: 0° 40′ S
Longitude: 78° 26′ W
Location: Ecuador
Range: Andes
Type: Stratovolcano
First ascent: 1872 by Wilhelm Reiss and party
Last eruption: 1904
Elevation-coloured satellite picture of Cotopaxi
Elevation-coloured satellite picture of Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi is a volcano in Ecuador, the second highest in the country, (the highest one being the Chimborazo) and one of the highest active volcanoes in the world (the highest active one is assumed to be Ojos del Salado in Chile). It is situated about 50 km south of Quito. Cotopaxi is more than 3,000 meters higher than its surroundings. The base of this stratovolcano has a width about 23 km.

There have been more than 50 eruptions of Cotopaxi since 1738. Numerous valleys formed by powerful lahars (mudflows) surround the volcano. This poses a high risk to the local population, their settlements and fields. The city Latacunga has been completely destroyed at least twice in its history. The most violent historical eruptions happened 1744, 1768, and 1877. Pyroclastic flows descended all sides of the volcano in 1877, and lahars traveled more than 100 km into the Pacific Ocean and western Amazon basin. There was a major eruption in 1903 through 1904, and some minor activity in 1942.

Cotopaxi is also a province of Ecuador.

External links and source

  • Smithsonian, Global Volcanism Program, Cotopaxi
  • NASA Earth Explorer page
  • Cotopaxi, Tour 2003

Last updated: 02-07-2005 05:37:10
Last updated: 02-25-2005 00:58:04