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Guallatiri (from Aymara Wallatiri, meaning "place of the wallata"[4][5] (Andean goose), also known as Huallatiri, Huallatire, Guallatire and Punata[1]) is a 6,071-metre-high (19,918 ft) volcano in Chile. It is located southwest of the Nevados de Quimsachata volcanic group. It is a stratovolcano with fumaroles around the summit, which may be either a lava dome or a pyroclastic cone. The lower flanks of the volcano are covered by lava flows and lava domes.

Guallatiri 1990-00-00 SCN 0750 2.jpg
Fumarole activity in the crater of Guallatiri
Highest point
Elevation6,071 m (19,918 ft) [1]
Isolation25 kilometres (16 mi)
Coordinates18°25′00″S 69°05′30″W / 18.41667°S 69.09167°W / -18.41667; -69.09167Coordinates: 18°25′00″S 69°05′30″W / 18.41667°S 69.09167°W / -18.41667; -69.09167[2]
Guallatiri is located in the northern part of Chile
Guallatiri is located in the northern part of Chile
Location of Guallatiri in Chile
LocationPutre, Parinacota Province, Arica y Parinacota, Chile[3]
Age of rockPleistocene-Holocene
Mountain typeVolcano
Volcanic fieldNevados de Quimsachata
Last eruption1960

Guallatiri has been active in historical times with a number of eruptions, the last in 1960. Fumarolic and seismic activity is ongoing. The volcano is covered by an ice cap.



Guallatiri is located in the Putre commune, Parinacota province of Arica y Parinacota, Chile.[3] Parinacota, Quisiquisini, Guallatiri and Poquentica form the eastern limit of the Lauca basin.[6]

The towns of Putre, Socoroma and Zapahuira are closest to the volcano.[3] The volcano is located in the Lauca National Park, along with the two higher Pomerape and Parinacota volcanoes.[7] Sometimes Guallatiri is considered to be part of the Nevados de Quimsachata volcanic chain, a 50 kilometres (31 mi) long chain of volcanoes.[8]

Other volcanoes with historical phreatic-phreatomagmatic activity in northern Chile include Irruputuncu, Isluga, Lascar and San Pedro. Further, fumarolic activity has been reported at Alitar, Lastarria, Olca, Ollague, Putana and Tacora.[9]


Geological map of Guallatiri

Guallatiri is a complex volcano. Dacitic lava domes are also present. The summit is formed by a pyroclastic cone.[1] Alternative interpretations see it as a lava dome or a hydrothermally altered, scree-covered lava plug.[10] The vent lies south of the summit.[11] The summit crater is breached westwards and northwards.[12] The volcano is principally constructed from lava flows.[13] Lava flows radiate from the summit and lava domes dot its flanks. Some lava flows are up to 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) long and 100 metres (330 ft) high.[14] Thick lava flows are particularly noticeable on the western and northern slope of the volcano.[11] Guallatiri is 1,700-metre-high (5,600 ft) above the basement rocks and has a total volume of 40 cubic kilometres (9.6 cu mi).[1] "Breadcrust" lava bombs are found on the northern flanks, probably carried there by glaciers.[10] Other eruption products include ash flows and tephra layers. The former are particularly developed on the south-southwest flank and the tephras particularly on the southern-eastern flanks.[15]

Guallatiri is underpinned by the rocks of the Lauca Formation,[16] which has an age of 10–0.5 million years.[17] An older basement domain known as the Lupica formation is exposed north, west and south of the volcano and contains sediments and volcanic rocks. It is of Oligocene-Miocene age.[14] Like other volcanoes in the area, it formed on top of the Chilean Altiplano.[7]

Guallatiri may have formed during the Pliocene. During the Pleistocene volcanic activity recommenced.[18] Two stages of volcanic activity in the Pleistocene-Holocene have been identified.[15] Volcanic activity in the Quimsachata volcanic chain migrated south from the now deeply eroded Acotango and Humarata volcano to the more recent Capurata and Guallatiri volcanoes. There is evidence indicating that lava flows forming the Stage I of activity were erupted during the middle Pleistocene and the lava domes forming Stage II were erupted in the Pleistocene-Holocene.[14] The lava bombs on the northern flank suggest that small volume activity occurred in recent times.[10]

Glaciation and hydrologyEdit

Guallatiri has glaciers, including one on the summit.[1] It is the most southern volcano in the Central Andes with an ice cap,[8] with a surface area of 6,000 square metres (65,000 sq ft).[19] South of Guallatiri tropical summer precipitation is insufficient to support glaciation; only south of 27° does winter precipitation become sufficient to support glaciers again.[20] Fumaroles have melted holes in the glaciers.[21] Thin moraines are preserved on the flanks at altitudes of 4,260 metres (13,980 ft).[19][18]

These glaciers drain towards the Chungara river.[6] A number of streams and dry valleys originate on Guallatiri. Parts of the western and southern flank drain into the Rio Lauca.[22]


Guallatiri has erupted andesite, dacite and rhyolite, with dacite dominating.[1] Pyroxene andesites are found up to 4,800 metres (15,700 ft) of altitude.[10] Analysis of lava at Domo Tinto lava dome has indicated phenocrysts include amphibole, biotite, pyroxene and some apatite. Mafic inclusions have also been found in Domo Tinto rocks. The Domo Tinto eruption may have been triggered by the injection of basaltic andesite into two magma chambers containing crystalline andesite.[14] Native deposits of sulfur are also found.[18]

Domo Tinto rocks have been analyzed for isotope and chemical composition studies. They are potassium-rich calc-alkaline rocks as is typical for Andean volcanism in this area. On the basis of petrology magma temperatures of the Tinto rocks have been estimated at 790 °C (1,450 °F) for the andesitic component and 890–930 °C (1,630–1,710 °F) for the basaltic andesite component.[14] SiO2 contents range from 58 to 75%, with dacites having a content of 63–70%.[1]

Eruptive activityEdit

Solfataric activity is ongoing. In 1985 and 1987 yellow (sulfur containing) steam clouds were reported, with altitudes of 500 metres (1,600 ft) above the summit.[1] The fumaroles are located in the crater, the southern flank[2] and the southern flank where they reach over 300 metres (980 ft) down. The fumaroles are reported to make "jet"-like noises.[11] ASTER imaging has indicated temperature anomalies of up to 8 kelvins.[23] Mud pots have also been observed.[24]

Likewise, the volcano features ongoing seismic activity, including about two earthquakes per day and three seismic swarms in 2011–2012. Another earthquake swarm is associated with the 2001 Peru earthquake.[23][25] No deformation of the edifice has been observed, however.[26]

A lava dome on the southern flank (Domo Tinto) was K-Ar dated at 5,000 ± 3000 BP. Its eruption was probably a relatively tranquil effusive eruption.[14] Ash eruptions are reported in the first half of the 19th century. 1913 and 1959 glow was observed in the summit crater, and a phreatic eruption was reported in 1960.[1] Activity is also reported for 1779, 1802, 1826–1831, 1850, 1859, 1864, 1864, 1870, 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912 and 1959.[22] Guallatiri is one of northern Chile's most active volcanoes.[15] In 2015 volcano alert levels on Guallatiri was temporarily raised due to deformation of the edifice and changes in the seismic activity.[11]

Threats and preparednessEdit

The Chilean National Geology and Mining Service does keep a record of regular reports of the activity status of Guallatiri.[3] A hazard map exists of Guallatiri with three areas of different risk. The red zone occupies the areas interested by late activity of the volcano and river valleys, in total most of the upper parts of the volcano. The orange and yellow zones are areas threatened in the case of medium-large and large scale eruptive activity, respectively.[22]

Flank eruptions, lahars and pyroclastic flows are hazards associated with Guallatiri. The town of Guallatiri on its southern flank is especially threatened.[1] Explosive activity with eruption columns of 20 kilometres (12 mi) height may result in ashfall in Arica and Putre depending on the season.[22] There are small villages in western Bolivia that may be impacted by Guallatiri tephra.[15]

Religious and archeological importanceEdit

Unlike on several other Andean summits, no Inka archeological sites are visible on Guallatiri, perhaps discouraged by the persistent volcanic activity.[27]

It is said that townfolk of Guallatire worshipped the mountain from nearby mountain Capurata. Even today churches in Ancuta and Guallatire point towards the volcano.[27]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Moreno, Hugo (10 January 2014). "FICHA EJECUTIVA: VOLCÁN GUALLATIRI" (PDF). (in Spanish). SERNAGEOMIN. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 September 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b Gliss, Jonas; Stebel, Kerstin; Thomas, Helen. "SO2-flux measurements and BrO/SO2 ratios at Guallatiri volcano, Altiplano, northern Chile". The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System. Bibcode:2015EGUGA..1713466G.
  3. ^ a b c d "Guallatiri". SERNAGEOMIN. Archived from the original on 24 May 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  4. ^ Bobylyova, E. S.; Сергеевна, Бобылева Елена (15 December 2016). "Structural-and-Semantic Analysis of Oronyms of Chile, Структурно-семантический анализ оронимов Чили". RUDN Journal of Language Studies, Semiotics and Semantics, Вестник Российского университета дружбы народов. Серия: Теория языка. Семиотика. Семантика (in Russian). 0 (2): 126. ISSN 2411-1236.
  5. ^ Ministerio de Obras Pùblicas, Guía de diseño arquitectónico aymara para edificios y espacios públicos, Chile 2016
  6. ^ a b SÁEZ, A.; VALERO-GARCÉS, B. L.; MORENO, A.; BAO, R.; PUEYO, J. J.; GONZÁLEZ-SAMPÉRIZ, P.; GIRALT, S.; TABERNER, C.; HERRERA, C.; GIBERT, R. O. (October 2007). "Lacustrine sedimentation in active volcanic settings: the Late Quaternary depositional evolution of Lake Chungará (northern Chile)". Sedimentology. 54 (5): 1191–1222. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3091.2007.00878.x.
  7. ^ a b Rundel, P.W.; Gibson, A.C.; Midgley, G.S.; Wand, S.J.E.; Palma, B.; Kleier, C.; Lambrinos, J. (2003). "Ecological and ecophysiological patterns in a pre-altiplano shrubland of the Andean Cordillera in northern Chile". Plant Ecology. 169 (2): 179–193. doi:10.1023/A:1026075721045.
  8. ^ a b Rundel, Philip W.; Palma, Beatriz (August 2000). "Preserving the Unique Puna Ecosystems of the Andean Altiplano". Mountain Research and Development. 20 (3): 262–271. doi:10.1659/0276-4741(2000)020[0262:PTUPEO]2.0.CO;2.
  9. ^ Tassi, F.; Aguilera, F.; Darrah, T.; Vaselli, O.; Capaccioni, B.; Poreda, R.J.; Delgado Huertas, A. (April 2010). "Fluid geochemistry of hydrothermal systems in the Arica-Parinacota, Tarapacá and Antofagasta regions (northern Chile)". Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 192 (1–2): 1–15. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2010.02.006.
  10. ^ a b c d Wigger, edited by Klaus-Joachim Reutter, Ekkehard Scheuber, Peter J. (1994). Tectonics of the Southern Central Andes Structure and Evolution of an Active Continental Margin. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 81–82. ISBN 978-3-642-77353-2. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d "Guallatiri". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution.
  13. ^ Tilling, Roberto Scarpa, Robert I. (1996). Monitoring and Mitigation of Volcano Hazards. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 266. ISBN 978-3-642-80087-0. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  14. ^ a b c d e f Watts, Robert B.; Clavero Ribes, Jorge; Sparks, R. Stephen J. (30 September 2014). "Origen y emplazamiento del Domo Tinto, volcán Guallatiri, Norte de Chile". Andean Geology. SciELO. 41 (3). doi:10.5027/andgeoV41n3-a04. ISSN 0718-7106. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  15. ^ a b c d Teresa Moreno (Ph. D.); Wes Gibbons (2007). The Geology of Chile. Geological Society of London. p. 151. ISBN 978-1-86239-220-5.
  16. ^ Charrier, Reynaldo; Chávez, Alvaro N.; Elgueta, Sara; Hérail, Gérard; Flynn, John J.; Croft, Darin A.; Wyss, André R.; Riquelme, Rodrigo; García, Marcelo (May 2005). "Rapid tectonic and paleogeographic evolution associated with the development of the Chucal anticline and the Chucal-Lauca Basin in the Altiplano of Arica, northern Chile". Journal of South American Earth Sciences. 19 (1): 35–54. doi:10.1016/j.jsames.2004.06.008.
  17. ^ Charrier, Reynaldo; Hérail, Gérard; Pinto, Luisa; García, Marcelo; Riquelme, Rodrigo; Farías, Marcelo; Muñoz, Nelson (10 July 2012). "Cenozoic tectonic evolution in the Central Andes in northern Chile and west central Bolivia: implications for paleogeographic, magmatic and mountain building evolution". International Journal of Earth Sciences. 102 (1): 235–264. doi:10.1007/s00531-012-0801-4.
  18. ^ a b c Groepper, H.; Calvo, M.; Crespo, H.; Bisso, C. R.; Cuadra, W. A; Dunkerley, P. M.; Aguirre, E. (1 October 1991). "The epithermal gold-silver deposit of Choquelimpie, northern Chile". Economic Geology. 86 (6): 1206–1221. doi:10.2113/gsecongeo.86.6.1206.
  19. ^ a b Ochsenius, Claudio (1986). "La Glaciación Puna durante el Wisconsin, Desglaciación y Máximo Lacustre en la Transición Wisconsin-Holoceno y Refugios de Megafauna Postglaciales en la Puna y Desierto de Atacama" (PDF). Revista de Geografía Norte Grande (in Spanish). 29–58 (13). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  20. ^ Ammann, Caspar; Jenny, Bettina; Kammer, Klaus; Messerli, Bruno (August 2001). "Late Quaternary Glacier response to humidity changes in the arid Andes of Chile (18–29°S)". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 172 (3–4): 313–326. doi:10.1016/S0031-0182(01)00306-6.
  21. ^ Rivera, Andrés; Bown, Francisca; Casassa, Gino; Acuña, Cásar; Clavero, Jorge (December 2005). "Glacier shrinkage and negative mass balance in the Chilean Lake District (40°S) / Rétrécissement glaciaire et bilan massique négatif dans la Région des Lacs du Chili (40°S)". Hydrological Sciences Journal. 50 (6). doi:10.1623/hysj.2005.50.6.963.
  22. ^ a b c d "PELIGROS VOLCÁNICOS DEL VOLCÁN GUALLATIRI" (PDF). SERNAGEOMIN Home (in Spanish). SERNAGEOMIN. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 October 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  23. ^ a b Pritchard, M.E.; Henderson, S.T.; Jay, J.A.; Soler, V.; Krzesni, D.A.; Button, N.E.; Welch, M.D.; Semple, A.G.; Glass, B.; Sunagua, M.; Minaya, E.; Amigo, A.; Clavero, J. (June 2014). "Reconnaissance earthquake studies at nine volcanic areas of the central Andes with coincident satellite thermal and InSAR observations". Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 280: 90–103. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2014.05.004.
  24. ^ "Summary of recent volcanic activity". Bulletin of Volcanology. 53 (7): 575–576. September 1991. Bibcode:1991BVol...53..575.. doi:10.1007/BF00298158.
  25. ^ Henderson, Scott T.; Pritchard, Matthew E.; Jay, Jennifer A.; Welch, Mark; Mares, Peter J.; Mnich, Marissa E. (January 2012). "Searching for Activity in the Andean Central Volcan ic Zone: Thermal Anomalies, Seismicity, and Deformatio n Over a Timespan of 1–20 years" (PDF). SERNAGEOMIN. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  26. ^ Pritchard, Matthew E.; Simons, Mark (11 July 2002). "A satellite geodetic survey of large-scale deformation of volcanic centres in the central Andes". Nature. 418 (6894): 167–171. doi:10.1038/nature00872. PMID 12110886.
  27. ^ a b Reinhard, Johan (January 2002). "A HIGH ALTITUDE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY IN NORTHERN CHILE". Chungará (Arica). 34 (1). doi:10.4067/S0717-73562002000100005.