Coropuna

Coropuna is a dormant compound volcano located in the Andes mountains of southeast-central Peru. Its ice cap is the most extensive in Earth’s tropical zone, with several outlet glaciers stretching out to lower altitudes. The mountain was regarded as sacred by the Inca and several archaeological sites have been discovered there. It has been active for at least five million years, with the bulk of the current cone having been formed during the Quaternary.

About Coropuna in brief

Summary CoropunaCoropuna is a dormant compound volcano located in the Andes mountains of southeast-central Peru. Its ice cap is the most extensive in Earth’s tropical zone, with several outlet glaciers stretching out to lower altitudes. The mountain was regarded as sacred by the Inca and several archaeological sites have been discovered there. The ice cap of Coropuna, which during the Last Glacial Maximum had expanded to over 500 km2, has been in retreat since at least 1850. Estimates published in 2018 imply that the ice cap will persist until about 2120. There is no habitation on the lower slopes above 5,200 metres, but numerous villages dot the most common lower slopes. Sixteen volcanoes in Peru are active or potentially active, including many glaciated volcanoes and some of the highest in the world. The volcano can be reached on paved roads through the town of Andahua, either from Arequipa or through Aplao from the Pan-American Highway. It is in the Cordillera Ampato, a mountain range which lies at an average of 100 kilometres from the Pacific coastline from Tierra del Fuego to Venezuela. The Andes stretch northwards along the western coast of South America from tierra del fuego to Venezuela forming the longest mountain chain in theworld. The name may mean Qoripuna, “Puna of Gold”, “golden mountain”, “cold, snowy” or “cut off at the top”.

The name is also spelled Qhuru Puna. There are another volcano in the andahua volcanic field which has the same name, but is completely separate. It contains many volcanoes, including Saraana, Mismi, Hualca, Sabancani, Chachani, Misti, Ubinas, Huaynapane and Casiri. Also found nearby are Neucamane, Yucamaca, Yunas, Tutina, Tutine and Solimaya. The highest summit is 6,377 metres above sea level, making it the third-highest of Peru. It has been active for at least five million years, with the bulk of the current cone having been formed during the Quaternary. It was considered one of the most important Inca religious sites in their realm; human sacrifices were performed on its slopes, and the mountain is worshiped to the present day. In Quechua, puna means ‘plateau’ and coro is a common component of toponyms such as with Coro Coro, Bolivia, though its etymology is unclear. The mountain is also called Nevado Coro; ‘Nevado’ is the Spanish word for ‘snowy’ or “snow’. It lies in the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andeans, which contains 44 of the world’s– and several glaciated – volcanoes including many of the Solimana and Saraana volcanoes.