Nuevo Mundo volcano

Nuevo Mundo volcano
Nuevo Mundo volcano
Elevation 5,438 m (17,841 ft) [1]
Prominence 738 m (2,421 ft)
Location Bolivia
Range Cordillera Oriental
Coordinates 19°46′27″S 66°28′42″W / 19.77417°S 66.47833°W / -19.77417; -66.47833
Type Stratovolcano
Age of rock Holocene
Last eruption c. 1400

The Nuevo Mundo volcano is a stratovolcano, lava dome and a lava flow complex between Potosí and Uyuni, Bolivia, in the Andes rising to a peak at 5,438 metres (17,841 ft).



The first mountaineering in the area was before 1903, by a Frenchman, Georges Courty, whose notes led to the mysterious entry in the 1987 book Mountaineering in the Andes by Jill Neate, “Nuevo Mundo, 6020 m, location uncertain.”[2]

German geologist Frederic Ahlfeld, an avid mountaineer, moved to Bolivia in 1924. He began exploring the mountains in Potosí Department after World War II, climbing a number of the peaks. In a letter to historian Evelio Echevtia in 1962, Ahlfeld stated that because of Nuevo Mundo’s supposed height, one of the two Cerro Lípez peaks might be a possible candidate for Monsieur Courty’s mysterious mountain.[3] However, in 1969, in Ahlfeld's book Geografia Fisica de Bolivia[4], Ahlfeld presented a drawing[5] of a Nuevo Mundo (5438 m.) with its description[6], and at a location southwest of Potosí and just north of the small village of Potoco, far away from Cerro Lípez.

At the end of the 1990s, Toto Aramayo, Yossi Brain and Dakin Cook undertook the search for Nuevo Mundo, and they found Ahlfeld’s Nuevo Mundo at Latitude:19°47'0"S, Longitude: 66°29'0"W.[3] The Bolivian government and the USGS recognize this as the correct identification of Nuevo Mundo, although some maps[7] still as of 2007 labeled Cerro Lípez as Nuevo Mundo.


Nuevo Mundo is a complex eruption center on the edge of the Los Frailes Plateau with a stratovolcano which is capped by cinder cones (mostly of ash and pumice).[8] At the base level there are two lava flows (of a viscous dacite) that erupted along a north-south fault. Apparently at the same time there were block-and-ash flows to the east.[1] Later a highly explosive Plinian eruption produced an ash fall that extended over 200 km to the east, as far as Potosí. This eruption was quite recent, but it predated the arrival of the Spanish in 1533. While earlier eruption centers, such as the Kari-Kari caldera, Cerro Wila Kkolu, Cerro Condor Nasa, Cerro Villacolo, Cerro Huanapa Pampa created the Los Frailes Plateau, Nueva Mundo overlaid those Los Frailes plateau deposits in the Holocene with huge ignimbrite deposits, which are mostly pyroclastic dacite and andesite.[9][10]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Nuevo Mundo". Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian Institution. 
  2. ^ Neate, Jill (1987) Mountaineering in the Andes: a sourcebook for climbers Expedition Advisory Centre, London, England, ISBN 0907649335
  3. ^ a b Brain, Y. (1999) "Climbs and Expeditions: Bolivia" American Alpine Journal p.323
  4. ^ Ahlfeld, Federico E. (1969) Geografía de Bolivia: geografía física Editorial Los Amigos del Libro, La Paz, OCLC 2903813
  5. ^ Ahlfeld Geografia Fisica de Bolivia p.158
  6. ^ Ahlfeld Geografia Fisica de Bolivia p. 156-157
  7. ^ MSN Encarta Map accessed 11 March 2006 and 11 March 2007
  8. ^ "Nuevo Mundo" from the University of North Dakota Volcanology WebSite
  9. ^ Los Frailes Plateau Info from the University of North Dakota Volcanology WebSite
  10. ^ Frailes Plateau, Volcano World

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