Understanding Sangay Volcano in Ecuador: A Geologic Expedition to “The Giver”

Figure 1. Sangay Volcano. Aerial photograph by Patricio Ramon
Figure 1. Sangay Volcano. Aerial photograph by Patricio Ramon

At 5230 meters above sea-level Sangay, is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and one of Ecuador’s most active volcanoes. However, unlike many volcanoes in Ecuador (and around the globe), which are easily approached by road, Sangay is remote and dauntingly inaccessible (getting to its base will require a 3 day trek). Approaching the summit is also dangerous because of frequent and unpredictable strombolian eruptions. The goal of our expedition is to map and collect volcanic rock samples of different ages from Sangay. This will require us to circumnavigate the upper slopes of the mountain and to collect erupting lavas and bombs “zero-age samples” from the summit area. See teams bios below.

Figure 2: Eruption on the summit of Sangay Volcano. Aerial photograph by Patricio Ramon

Sangay volcano is located in Sangay National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that hosts unique and pristine biological communities which cross a wide range of ecosystems, from high-alpine to sub-tropical and tropical rainforest. Whilst, many websites sites and even books indicate that Sangay is Quecha for “frightener”, according to Marco Crux (see bio below) this is a misnomer —> Read More Here


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