Volcanoes in Ecuador

With 7 volcanoes in Ecuador there have been a total of 22 significant eruptions over the past 800 years. Over 5,300 people were killed. The worst volcanic eruption in terms of deaths, destroyed houses and financial damages happened on 01/01/1640 with the eruption of "Tungurahua". Here, 5000 people died.

Out of 22 volcanos in Ecuador, 20 are considered still active.

Other natural hazards in Ecuador:
Current volcanoes worldwide

Back to overview: Ecuador

Ecuador is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which stretches for about 40,000 km around the Pacific Ocean. Here the tectonic plate of the Pacific collides with several surrounding continental plates and seismic tremors occur again and again. Most of the world's volcanic eruptions, which are also the most severe, occur in this zone.

Significant volcanic eruptions in Ecuador in the last 800 years

The following list shows all volcanic eruptions of the last 800 years with significant damage. The column "VEI" stands for the volcano explosivity index, which represents the strength of the eruption from a geological point of view. This takes into account the height and volume of the rocks ejected. The scale ranges from 0-8, with the severity of the eruption increasing tenfold with each value. For example, a VEI of 1 means that the volcano throws lava and rock masses of 100,000 to 1 million cubic meters up to 1 kilometer high. From VEI 8, a volcano is considered a super volcano. Here, more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of tephra are thrown to altitudes of more than 25 kilometers.

The highest explosivity index in Ecuador reached in the review period was VEI 6 in 1280. The volcano Quilotoa threw tephramasses of at least 10 cubic kilometers over 25 kilometers high. Such an intensity is normally only achieved every 100 years.

EruptionVolcanoVEIDeathsTotal damage
10/05/1999Guagua Pichincha32
03/12/1993Guagua Pichincha12
04/13/1943Azul, Cerro31

All volcanoes in Ecuador

VolcanoElevationStatusLast eruption
Alcedo1127 mActive
Antizana5705 mActive
Cerro Azul1690 mActive
Cotopaxi5897 mActive
Cumbal4764 mActive
Darwin1325 mPotentially active
Espanola205 mActive
Fernandina1546 mActive
Lunganate Potentially active
Marchena354 mSolfatara stage
Pichincha4787 mActive
Pinta777 mActive
Quilotoa3981 mActive
Reventader3485 mActive
San Salvador920 mActive
Sangay5230 mActive03/05/2021
Santa Fe274 mSolfatara stage
Santa Maria640 mActive
Santo Tomas1490 mActive
Sumaco3828 mActive
Tungurahua5016 mActive04/01/2011
Wolf1710 mActive

These statistics are based on datas from the Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program (GVP), and the Significant Volcanic Eruptions Database of the National Geophysical Data Center (NOAA) / World Data Service (NGDC/WDS) doi:10.7289/V5JW8BSH. Several data have been summarized and translated.
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