Lascar (volcano)

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Lascar 2.jpg
The Lascar volcano, seen from the Chaxas lagoon on the Gran Salar. To the left, in the background, the Aguas Calientes volcano.
Highest point
Elevation 5,592 m (18,346 ft) [1]
Coordinates 23°22′S 67°44′W / 23.367°S 67.733°W / -23.367; -67.733Coordinates: 23°22′S 67°44′W / 23.367°S 67.733°W / -23.367; -67.733[1]
Lascar is located in Chile
Location Northern Chile
Parent range Andes
Mountain type Stratovolcano
Last eruption October 30, 2015

Lascar, a stratovolcano, is the most active volcano of the northern Chilean Andes.

Geographical setting[edit]

Lascar erupting in 2006

Lascar is located in the altiplano of the Antofagasta Region of northern Chile, east of the Salar de Atacama, immediately west of the Aguas Calientes volcano, and to the northeast of Laguna Lejía. Other volcanoes in the area include Acamarachi, which is dormant or possibly extinct, and Chiliques, which has developed a new hot spot in its summit crater beginning in 2002 after a period of at least 10,000 years in dormancy.[2]


The andesitic-to-dacitic stratovolcano contains six overlapping summit craters. All the craters have been erupting. Prominent lava flows descend its northwest flanks.

Eruptive history[edit]

The largest eruption of Lascar took place about 26,500 years ago, and following the eruption of the Tumbres scoria flow about 9,000 years ago, activity shifted back to the eastern edifice, where three overlapping craters were formed. Frequent small-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded from Lascar in historical time since the mid-19th century, along with periodic larger eruptions that produced ash and tephra fall up to hundreds of kilometres away from the volcano.[1]

Modern activity and the current threat[edit]

The largest eruption of Lascar in recent history took place in 1993, producing pyroclastic flows as far as 8.5 km (5 mi) northwest of the summit and ash fall in Buenos Aires, Argentina,[1] more than 1,600 km (994 mi) to the southeast. Another series of eruptions began on 18 April 2006 and were continuing as of 2011, and the latest eruption began on 30 October 2015, producing a small plume of ash.[3]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • González-Ferrán, Oscar (1995). Volcanes de Chile (in Spanish). Santiago, Chile: Instituto Geográfico Militar. ISBN 956-202-054-1. 

External links[edit]

360° view at the crater's edge at 5,500 m (18,045 ft), including the steaming crater