Mystery Volcano Photo #17

Thank you to all the Eruptions readers who have submitted photos for the Mystery Volcano Photo column! I’ll start using them, well, now, so keep them coming. Remember, you can’t guess on your own photo!

Current Standings:
Don Crain – 2
gijs – 2
The Bobs – 2
Boris Behncke – 2
volcanista – 1
Lockwood – 1
Elizabeth – 1
Ralph – 1
Anne – 1
Cam – 1
gg – 1
Damon Hynes – 1
Marco – 1

Here’s the next MVP … Good luck!



  1. #1 Chance Metz
    December 3, 2009

    Cotopaxi in Peru?

  2. #2 mike don
    December 3, 2009

    First guess might be Mt Baker, but that’s probably waaay off!

  3. #3 Big Noodle
    December 3, 2009

    Hmmmm… Bright sunny day, very dark sky. Someplace very high probably. Planets highest volcanoes live in Chile.
    Let’s try San Jose (1507-02) at 19,212 feet.

  4. #4 Diane
    December 3, 2009

    Well, it looks to me like a weird angle of Popo, but that would be too easy. Neat picture and I have no idea. 🙂

  5. #5 mike don
    December 3, 2009

    Chile? well Monte Burney is in Chile, and it looks a bit like that. OTOH it’s not that high up.

  6. #6 Carol
    December 3, 2009

    I think it’s Cotapaxi Volcano!

  7. #7 The Bobs
    December 3, 2009

    I’d say it is Kasbek in the Caucasus.

  8. #8 The Bobs
    December 3, 2009

    Now I see, it is Chimborazo in Ecuador.

  9. #9 VolcanoMan
    December 3, 2009

    w00t! Thanks for using my photo Erik. The Bobs has it right, congratulations! Chimborazo is the highest peak in Ecuador, over 6,200 metres a.s.l. Its summit is also the furthest point on the surface of the Earth from the center of the Earth (as the planet bulges at the equator and Chimborazo is only a degree or so South). Its last eruption was something like 1,500 years ago. But perhaps more wondrous than the volcano itself is the most amazing roadcut I have ever seen in my 5 years of volcanic and general geologic exploration, a few kilometres away from Chimborazo, showing the layered volcaniclastic deposits over the millenia. Check it out:

  10. #10 Chance Metz
    December 3, 2009

    darn that wolud have been my second guess. I knew it was somewhere in the Andes

  11. #11 R Simmon
    December 3, 2009


    Could you post an annotated version of those pics? I’d like to know what’s going on.

  12. #12 CK
    December 4, 2009

    Wow, amazing pics! Is the upper (dark) layer from ash / tephra deposits only? (because this would mean that the last large eruption must have been a really impressive one). Looks like a good candidate for a vulcano profile to me. 🙂

  13. #13 Jimmy
    December 4, 2009

    Just like an oreo! Do I see some columnar jointing up top?

  14. #14 VolcanoMan
    December 5, 2009

    The dark upper layer above the angular unconformity is a soil horizon, not columnar-jointed basalt (although it does look a lot like that in the photos). What I find most interesting is that there is evidence of both extension and compression in the deposits (the fact that both have happened AFTER a stratigraphic sequence of volcanic deposits was there already tells me that the place has a long and interesting tectonic past). Horsts and grabens, folding and reverse faulting all in the same place, it’s like one of those stratigraphic test problems in my first-year geology course!

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