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Uturuncu, Bolivia

Uturuncu, Bolivia. Credit: Duncan Muir

Local name: Uturuncu, Cerro Uturuncu
Largest recorded eruption: unknown
Last eruption: ~271, 000 years ago

Uturuncu is a dormant stratovolcano in south-west Bolivia. It lies in the Altiplano–Puna volcanic complex, a region with many voluminous ignimbrite deposits and associated calderas. Uturuncu was active between 890 – 271 ka and erupted predominantly dacitic lavas. Although there have been no historic eruptions at Uturuncu, geodetic satellite measurements during 1992 – 2006 revealed extreme ground deformation was occurring at the caldera, with the recorded uplift rate of 1 to 2 cm/yr consistent with a rapidly inflating magma source at 17 – 30 km depth beneath the volcano. Coupled with persistent seismic activity, this indicates Uturuncu may be entering a period of unrest. CRITMAG research is focused on petrological interrogation of lava samples from Pleistocene dacitic eruptions, and determination of experimental phase relations.