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Five new volcanoes discovered in Ecuador 18 December 2009

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The South American republic of Ecuador, spanning the northern Andes, is not exactly short of volcanoes: more than 50 Ecuadorian volcanoes are known, while the Global Volcanism Program lists 20 volcanoes with Holocene activity, including such great names as Cayambe, Reventador, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo and Tungurahua.

Well, there are going to be some additions to the list with the news that no fewer than five previously unknown volcanoes have just been discovered in north-central Ecuador by volcanologists Patricia Mothes and Minard Hall.

The newly identified ‘Cosanga Volcanoes’ are located in the Cordillera Real between Baez and Cosanga, about 75 km south-east of the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, and have been named Lavas de Bermejo, El Dorado, Domos de Huevo de Chivo, Centro Pumayacu and Centro Cosanga. Of these five Mothes and Hall report that at least one, Pumayacu, is potentially active – more work is needed before the potential activity level of the other four can be determined. The Cosanga volcanoes are relatively low features, between 2,800 and 3,700 metres, and are also relatively young, having formed between 2,000 and 20,000 years before the present. Around Pumayacu pottery fragments of the Cosanga culture have been excavated, which Hall suggests indicates that inhabitants of the area around 2,000 years ago may have had to leave because of volcanic eruptions at that time.

The identification of these unknown volcanoes was sparked by the discovery of obsidian in the Cosanga region. Further studies are planned, and Mothes and Hall do not rule out discovering yet more hidden Ecuadorian volcanoes.

[Thanks go to Volcanism Blog commenter Guillermo.]

Descubren cinco nuevos volcanes en Ecuador – BBC Mundo, 18 December 2009
Descubren 5 nuevos volcanes en Ecuador – Ecuador Ciencia, 13 December 2009
Descubren cinco nuevos volcanes en Ecuador – AFP, 13 December 2009

Global Volcanism Program: volcanoes of Ecuador – Holocene volcanoes in Ecuador
Ecuador volcanoes and volcanics – information from the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory

The Volcanism Blog


1. Guillermo - 19 December 2009

The BBC story was basically the same I sent to you, withminimal differences. It’s quite surprising this kind of news.

This is a new bulletin about Chaitén (not far from the past, except for a decline in sismicity):

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