Pichu Pichu

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Pichu Pichu
Highest point
Elevation5,664 m (18,583 ft)
ListingList of mountains in the Andes
Coordinates16°26′28″S 71°14′25″W / 16.4411388889°S 71.2403888889°W / -16.4411388889; -71.2403888889Coordinates: 16°26′28″S 71°14′25″W / 16.4411388889°S 71.2403888889°W / -16.4411388889; -71.2403888889
Pichu Pichu is located in Peru
Pichu Pichu
Pichu Pichu
Location of Pichu Pichu within Peru
LocationArequipa, Peru
Parent rangeAndes

Pichu Pichu[1][2][3] or Picchu Picchu[4] is an inactive[3] eroded volcano[2] in the Andes of Peru.[5] It is located in the Arequipa Region, Arequipa Province, on the border of Pocsi and Tarucani districts.[5] Pichu Pichu reaches a height of 5,664 metres (18,583 ft)[1] and is part of Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve.[3]


The name possibly stems from Quechua pikchu pyramid; mountain or prominence with a broad base which ends in sharp peaks.[6]


Pichu Pichu, together with Nevado Chachani and El Misti, border the city of Arequipa towards the northeast. These volcanoes are found southwest of the principal Cordillera Occidental in the region.[7]:896


Pichu Pichu is a 10-kilometre-long (6 mi) ridge which drops off steeply on its western side. The volcano features four different heavily eroded craters.[8]

Pichu Pichu is an extinct volcano.[9] It was active 6.7 million years ago, given the results of potassium-argon dating. Its arcuate shape is the result of a large sector collapse one million years ago, which formed the "Arequipa volcanic landslide".[10] Pichu Pichu was glaciated in the past, and this glaciation has left recognizable traces on the mountains including cirques, glacial troughs, hanging valleys and moraines.[7]:914 These moraines occur at elevations of 4,500 metres (14,800 ft) and outwash plains are located beneath them.[11] The removal of the western flank of the volcano was also originally considered to be the result of glacial erosion.[8] A series of hills at the base of Pichu Pichu may be erosion products of moraines or moraines proper associated with the volcano.[7]:910

The climate of the region is relatively dry, with most precipitation falling during the summer months.[7]:896 The Poroto and Polobaya rivers originate at the foot of Pichu Pichu and are tributaries of the Rio Chili. The proposed Yanaorco–Paltaorco reservoir would also draw water from the mountain.[12]

Between 3,000–3,700 metres (10,000–12,000 ft) elevation, shrub vegetation occurs on Pichu Pichu and the neighbouring volcanoes, whereas above the grassline a Nototriches species is found.[13]

The mountain was considered to be sacred by the ancient inhabitants of the region. Pichu Pichu is visible from the Wari site at Cerro Baúl and some buildings at that site are constructed in such a way as to point to Pichu Pichu. Processions along the hillside staircase of Cerro Baúl would have the mountain in view.[14] Stone structures are also found on Pichu Pichu itself, including a high altitude staircase that overcomes a steep pitch.[15] Human sacrifices, so-called capacochas, were performed on Pichu Pichu.[16] Mummies were found on the mountain in 1964 along with various archeological findings, but the findings were not published out of fear to avoid attracting graverobbers. An additional body was found in 1996.[17] Overall, three mummies were found on Pichu Pichu.[18] They were probably two females and one male, all 15 years old.[18]


  1. ^ a b Peru 1:100 000, Characato (33-t). IGN (Instituto Geográfico Nacional – Perú). as Nevado Pichu Pichu
  2. ^ a b "Nevado Pichu Pichu : Climbing, Hiking & Mountaineering : SummitPost". www.summitpost.org. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  3. ^ a b c "Nevado Pichu Pichu". Inventario Turístico del Perú (in Spanish). MINCETUR. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  4. ^ Cardelús, Borja; Guijarro, Timoteo (2013). Cápac Ñan. El Gran Camino Inca (in Spanish). Penguin Random House – Grupo Editorial Perú. p. 352. ISBN 9789972848711.
  5. ^ a b escale.minedu.gob.pe – UGEL map of the Arequipa Province (Arequipa Region)
  6. ^ Diccionario Quechua – Español – Quechua, Academía Mayor de la Lengua Quechua, Gobierno Regional Cusco, Cusco 2005
  7. ^ a b c d Fenner, C. N. (1948-09-01). "Pleistocene Climate and Topography of the Arequipa Region, Peru". Geological Society of America Bulletin. 59 (9): 895–917. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(1948)59[895:PCATOT]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0016-7606.
  8. ^ a b Bullard, Fred M. (1962-12-01). "Volcanoes of Southern Peru". Bulletin Volcanologique. 24 (1): 446–447. doi:10.1007/BF02599360. ISSN 0366-483X. S2CID 140637499.
  9. ^ Thouret, Jean-Claude; Finizola, Anthony; Fornari, Michel; Legeley-Padovani, Annick; Suni, Jaime; Frechen, Manfred (2001-12-01). "Geology of El Misti volcano near the city of Arequipa, Peru" (PDF). Geological Society of America Bulletin. 113 (12): 1593. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(2001)113<1593:GOEMVN>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0016-7606.
  10. ^ Lebti, Perrine Paquereau; Thouret, Jean-Claude; Wörner, Gerhard; Fornari, Michel (2006-06-15). "Neogene and Quaternary ignimbrites in the area of Arequipa, Southern Peru: Stratigraphical and petrological correlations". Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 154 (3–4): 254. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2006.02.014.
  11. ^ Juvigné, Étienne; Thouret, Jean-Claude; Gilot, Étienne; Gourgaud, Alain; Graf, Kurt; Leclercq, Louis; Legros, François; Uribe, Miguel (1997). "Étude téphrostratigraphique et bio-climatique du Tardiglaciaire et de l'Holocène de la Laguna Salinas, Pérou méridional". Géographie Physique et Quaternaire (in French). 51 (2): 222. doi:10.7202/033120ar. ISSN 0705-7199.
  12. ^ Swiech, Theoclea; Ertsen, Maurits W.; Pererya, Carlos Machicao (2012). "Estimating the impacts of a reservoir for improved water use in irrigation in the Yarabamba region, Peru". Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C. Recent Advances in Water Resources Management. 47–48: 64–75. doi:10.1016/j.pce.2011.06.008.
  13. ^ Stafford, Dora (1939-07-01). "On the Flora of Southern Peru". Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London. 151 (3): 172–181. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.1939.tb00228.x. ISSN 0370-0461.
  14. ^ Williams, Patrick Ryan; Nash, Donna J. (2006-09-01). "Sighting the apu: a GIS analysis of Wari imperialism and the worship of mountain peaks" (PDF). World Archaeology. 38 (3): 465–466. doi:10.1080/00438240600813491. ISSN 0043-8243. S2CID 10340115.
  15. ^ Ricker, John F. (1977). Yuraq Janka: A Guide to the Peruvian Andes. The Mountaineers Books. p. 4. ISBN 9781933056708.
  16. ^ Wilson, Andrew S.; Brown, Emma L.; Villa, Chiara; Lynnerup, Niels; Healey, Andrew; Ceruti, Maria Constanza; Reinhard, Johan; Previgliano, Carlos H.; Araoz, Facundo Arias (2013-08-13). "Archaeological, radiological, and biological evidence offer insight into Inca child sacrifice". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 110 (33): 13322–13327. doi:10.1073/pnas.1305117110. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 3746857. PMID 23898165.
  17. ^ Chávez, Chávez; Antonio, José (2001-07-01). "Investigaciones Arqueológicas de Alta Montaña en el Sur del Perú". Chungará (Arica). 33 (2): 283–288. doi:10.4067/S0717-73562001000200014. ISSN 0717-7356.
  18. ^ a b Cockburn, Aidan; Cockburn, Eve; Reyman, Theodore A. (1998). Mummies, Disease and Ancient Cultures. Cambridge University Press. p. 176. ISBN 9780521589543.

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