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Closeup on the sairecábur volcano.jpg
View of Cerro Sairécabur volcano
Elevation 5,971 m (19,590 ft)
Location Bolivia-Chile
Range Andes
Coordinates 22°43′0″S 67°53′30″W / 22.71667°S 67.89167°W / -22.71667; -67.89167Coordinates: 22°43′0″S 67°53′30″W / 22.71667°S 67.89167°W / -22.71667; -67.89167
Type Stratovolcano
Last eruption probably Holocene epoch

The Sairecabur volcanic group is a chain of stratovolcanoes located approximately 38 km (24 mi) northeast of San Pedro de Atacama, and directly south of the Putana Volcano, on the border between Bolivia and Chile. This volcanic group contains at least ten peaks, the highest of which is Cerro Sairecabur at 5,971 m (19,590 ft). Other peaks in the complex include Cerro Saciel, Cerro Ojos del Toro, directly north of Cerro Sairécabur, Curiquinca (5,722 m (18,773 ft)), Escalante or El Apagado (5,819 m (19,091 ft)) and Cerro Colorado (5,728 m (18,793 ft)), about 12 km (7 mi) to the north of Cerro Sairecabur. Several, now abandoned, sulfur mines are located in the complex, including Saciel, Ojos del Toro and El Apagado.

FLTR: Cerro Colorado, Volcán Escalante (el Apagado), Cerro Ojos del Toro, Cerro Saciel and Volcán Sairécabur. Camera location: 22°35′30.31″S 68°0′19.89″W. heading: 115°


The word Sairecabur is the Castilianization of the Kunza name used by the Atacameño (also known as Likan Antai) people to refer to the volcano: saire - rain, cabur - mountain, thus meaning "Rainmountain".


Cerro Sairecabur rises at the northern end of a 4.5 km wide caldera with steep walls up to 400 m (1,312 ft) which is breached and intersected on the north-end by a 500 m (1,640 ft)-wide volcanic crater. In the caldera lie two secondary cones Negro del Sairecabur and Sairecabur Post Caldera; the reconstructed pre-caldera volcano was higher than 7,000 m (22,966 ft), thus one of the highest in the world (the currently highest volcano Ojos de Salado is 6,885 m (22,589 ft) high).

The volcano is constructed on top of Pliocene-Pleistocene eruption products of the Chaxas and Puripicar formations; some flows overlie the Purico formation. The eruption products belong to three different stages, one Pleistocene precaldera stage and two post-caldera stages (Pleistocene and Holocene respectively). The eruption products are Andesites and dacites of high potassium content.

Lava flows from the recent cone enter the caldera as well as down the flanks of the ancient edifice. Glacial moraines overlie some lava flows and the edifice is deeply dissected by lava flows.


The environment is extreme with high daily temperature amplitudes, aridity and high insolation. Highly UV-resistant yeasts have been found.


The Receiver Lab Telescope (RLT) is located on Cerro Sairecabur, at am altitude of 5,525 m (18,127 ft).

Receiver Lab Telescope

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

  • SI Google Earth Placemarks - Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program: Download placemarks with SI Holocene volcano-data.