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Cotopaxi volcano, Ecuador

October 11th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Cotopaxi is a volcano in Ecuador, at 5,897 meters the second highest in the country (the highest one being Chimborazo at 6,310 meters), and one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. However, despite occasional claims, it is not the highest historically active volcano, that title being held by the much higher Llullaillaco volcano (6,739 meters high, active in 1877) on the border between Chile and Argentina.

Cotopaxi is situated about 50 km south of Quito. Cotopaxi has an elevation of more than 3,000 metres when measured from its base. The base of this stratovolcano has a width about 23 km.

There have been more than 50 eruptions of Cotopaxi since 1738. Numerous valleys formed by powerful lahars (mudflows) surround the volcano. This poses a high risk to the local population, their settlements and fields. The city Latacunga has been completely destroyed at least twice in its history. The most violent historical eruptions happened in 1744, 1768, and 1877. Pyroclastic flows descended all sides of the volcano in 1877, and lahars traveled more than 100 km into the Pacific Ocean and western Amazon basin. There was a major eruption in 1903 through 1904, and some minor activity in 1942.

The volcano is the subject of 1855 and 1862 paintings by Frederic Edwin Church.

Cotopaxi is also a province of Ecuador

(Source: Wikipedia)

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