Cotacotani Lake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the mountain in Bolivia, see Quta Qutani (Bolivia).
Quta Qutani
Volcan Parinacota + CotaCotani lakes.jpg
Cotacotani (left), Pomerape and Parinacota (right)
Location Arica-Parinacota Region
Coordinates 18°11′S 69°13′W / 18.183°S 69.217°W / -18.183; -69.217Coordinates: 18°11′S 69°13′W / 18.183°S 69.217°W / -18.183; -69.217
Primary inflows Benedicto Morales River, El Encuentro Creek
Primary outflows Desaguadero River
Catchment area 119 km2 (46 sq mi)[1]
Basin countries Chile
Surface area 6 km2 (2.3 sq mi)[1]
Max. depth 10 m (33 ft)
Surface elevation 4,495 m (14,747 ft)[1]
References [1]

Laguna de Cotacotani (hispanicized expression) or Quta Qutani (Aymara quta lake,[2] the reduplication signifies there is a group or complex of something, -ni is a suffix to indicate ownership, "the one with a group of lakes" ) is a lake[3] located in the Andean Altiplano of the Parinacota Province, Arica-Parinacota Region, Chile. It lies 4 km northwest of Chungará Lake, which is one of the highest lakes in the world and is surrounded by several volcanoes, such as the Payachata volcanic group (Parinacota and Pomerape), Sajama volcano and Wallatiri.

Cotacotani is separated from the lake Chungará by a strip of volcanic rock and receives groundwater inflow from that lake, however its major sources are Benedicto Morales River and El Encuentro Creek. Cotacotani Lake's main feature is the considerable number of islands and islets that it holds, which are really lava hummocks generated by a past volcanic event. With a surface of 6 km², the Cotacotani holds a volume of water between 30 to 40 million of m³, which empty through Lauca River into Coipasa Lake, in Bolivia.

Although much of its present hummocky topography is related to a large volcanic debris avalanche occurred in the zone, this lacustrine area was not originated by such event. Recent investigations suggests that Cotacotani originated as a series of kettle hole ponds.[4]

Cotacotani lies close to the Route CH-11 which connects Arica and La Paz via Tambo Quemado International Pass. The lake is located about 54 km east of Putre and 9 km west of the border with Bolivia, within Lauca National Park.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d (Spanish) IRD en Chile: Lagunas Cotacotani
  2. ^ Radio San Gabriel, "Instituto Radiofonico de Promoción Aymara" (IRPA) 1993, Republicado por Instituto de las Lenguas y Literaturas Andinas-Amazónicas (ILLLA-A) 2011, Transcripción del Vocabulario de la Lengua Aymara, P. Ludovico Bertonio 1612 (Spanish-Aymara-Aymara-Spanish dictionary)
  3. ^ It is considered as one or several lakes, depending on sources.
  4. ^ "Geological constraints on the emplacement mechanism of the Parinacota debris avalanche, northern Chile" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-08-07.