Northern Central Andes, Peru
Synonyms: None
Location: 17º01'S; 70º22'W
Type: Composite
Summit Elevation: 5815 m
Edifice Height: 1400 m
Status: Dormant

Volcano Image

Structure and Evolution

One of the four Peruvian volcanoes Hantke and Parodi (1966) catalogued as 'active', Tutupaca (T), is the northern and larger of two edifices which make up an elongate massif (Figure 6.1). Both edifices show signs of extensive glaciation and dissection. The southern and lower edifice has the remnants of a summit crater and a small amphitheatre (A), which is orthogonal to a SE-NW trending fault (F) on the northeastern side of the edifice. This fault parallels the main trend of the volcanic chain. A débris flow/avalanche to the north (DF) may have originated from the amphitheatre. The resulting débris avalanche deposit appears to have a smooth topography and a maximum runout of about 7km to the northeast. A few lava flows can be discerned, of which the largest is on the southern side. It appears to have been erupted from the junction between the two edifices. Although they overlie moraines, the lava flows have degraded morphologies, suggesting that they are relatively old. Hantke and Parodi (1966) cite accounts in Sapper (1917) of an eruption of Tutupaca in 1802, said to have showered ash on the cities of Arequipa and Tacna. Fidel and Savala (2000) cite four possible historic eruptions in 1780, 1802, 1862 and 1902, and recognize numerous lava flows, pyroclastic deposits, and a lateral blast deposit.

Current Activity

Hantke and Parodi (1966) reported that Tutupaca was in a solfatara stage and that "slender and low columns of steam arise from the NW slope of the lower peak." No further reliable information is available. Given the lack of any manifestation of recent activity, reports of the 1802 eruption may be unreliable. It is possible that this activity should be attributed to the nearby Volcan Yucumane q.v.The current hydrothermal system is manifested in springs with water temperatures ranging from 20-86° within a 13 km radius of the volcano.


The city of Candarave is 30 km from the volcano and other towns are within reach of ash and pyroclastic activity.


Bullard, F.M. 1962. Volcanoes of southern Peru. Bull. Volcanol. XXIV: 443-453.

de Silva S.L., & Francis, P.W., 1990. Active and potentially active volcanoes of southern Peru - observations using Landsat Thematic Mapper and Space Shuttle imagery. Bull. Volcanol. 52, 286-301.

Fidel. L., y Zavala B. (2000).- Mapa preliminar de amenaza volcánica potencial del volcán Tutupaca. Resúmenes Extendidos, X Congreso Peruano de Geología, 13 p.

Hantke, G., & Parodi, A., 1966. Catalogue of the active volcanoes of the world; Part XIX, Colombia, Ecuador & Peru, I.A.V.C.E.I. Naples, Italy, 73pp.