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Photo Information
Copyright: Georg Isbary (oki) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 79 W: 10 N: 114] (587)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2003
Categories: Mountain
Camera: Nikon F90x, Nikkor 24-120mm / F 3,5-5,6 D AF, Agfa Vista 200
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Mountains, Volcanoes and Volcanic Areas [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-02-19 11:58
Viewed: 5295
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Another amazing volcano of Ecuador - the Cotopaxi. This photo is taken out of a window of our plane to Quito.

Cotopaxi is a volcano located about 50 km south of Quito, Ecuador. At 5,897 m it is the second highest in the country—the highest being the Chimborazo. Cotopaxi has an almost symmetrical cone that rises froma highland plain of 3800m. Cotopaxi is technically referred to as a stratovolcano. It has a height (topographic prominence) of more than 3,000 m when measured from its base, which has a width about 23 km. It has one of the few equatorial glaciers in the world, which starts at the height of 5000m.

Occasional claims that Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano in the world are incorrect. Llullaillaco volcano is considerably higher and is definitely in an active phase, having erupted as recently as 1877. Ojos del Salado is higher still, and there are indications near its summit of recent activity, although its remoteness precludes a definitive statement as to whether it is currently active.

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. During a war betweeen the Incas and the Spaniards in 1534, the volcano erupted and put an end to the fighting as both fled from the battlefield. Cotopaxi's most violent eruptions in historical times occurred in the years 1744, 1768, and 1877. In the 1877 eruption pyroclastic flows descended all sides of the mountain, with lahars traveling more than 100 km into the Pacific Ocean and western Amazon basin draining the valley. There was a major eruption in 1903 through 1904 which has been recorded as the last eruption, and some minor activity in 1942 as well as 1975 but it did not produce any major events. In the most recent fumarolic activiities and sulfuric emissions increased and ice around the inside and on the southeastern side of the cone started to melt. The main danger of a huge eruption of Cotopaxi would be the flow of ice from its glacier. If there were to be a very large explosion, it would destroy most of the settlements within the valley in the suburban area of Quito (pop. more than 100,000). Another city which would be in great danger is Latacunga which is located in the south valley. In 1744 and 1768 an eruption destroyed the colonial town of Latacunga. Experts believe another eruption may come soon.


garyfudge, SelenE has marked this note useful
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Volvanoeswinterpalace 1 12-20 06:44
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A very impressive vista captured well.


Very nice picture. Good colors and POV. I like the clouds around the volcano!


Hi Georg,
A wonderful view with such great clarity. The combination of the green in the valley and the snow covered mountain peak with the clear sky is wonderful. I do feel the photo needs a little rotation to the left.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-12-19 7:06]

Hi Georg,
Very nice view of the Cotopaxi. I liked the POV, DOF , composition and details a lot. TFS
Best wishes,

Hi Georg
You are lucky to have seen Cotopaxi in all its glory!
We travelled for hours on our return from the Galapagos and saw only a big wall of cloud...


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