Which active volcano is the highest in the world? Is it Ojos del Salado or Llullaillaco?

Llullaillaco - the highest volcano in the world.

The answer to the title question is: Llullaillaco 6755m. The justification and further information are presented below:

Ojos del Salado 6896m (Chile, Argentina)

The most recent eruption at Ojos del Salado took place in approx. 700-750 A.D. with an error of up to 300 years. As a result, until 1993 no one would treat Ojos as an active volcano. Depsite that, existing small, cold volcanic gaseous emissions. Supposedly some people from a distance of about 30 km saw some gas or dust in the vicinity of Ojos. Next to Ojos, there are many volcanoes side by side. But the lack of evidence.

What matters is the last confirmed eruption far more than 1000 years ago.

The argument for the activity of the volcano Ojos del Salado are fumaroles (volcanic exhalations) - says so the local people. I explored it.

There are thermal springs and volcanic exhalations, including one large exhalation with a strong smell of hydrogen sulfide. They have a temperature of 60-80 degrees Celsius. It is far too low a temperature as fumaroles. At best it can be assumed that they are solfataras.

Fumaroles temperature must be above 250/300°C. They are characteristic of active volcanoes. Solfataras temperature should be 100 - 250/300°C. They are characteristic of dormant and extinct volcanoes.

Moreover, Ojos del Salado does not show another volcanic activity. There is no information about the existence of liquid magma chamber under the volcano.


What suggests activity of the volcano Ojos del Salado?

- Nothing, because volcanic exhalations in the massif are too cold as the active volcano, and the lack of other arguments.


What suggests that the Ojos del Salado is dormant or extinct volcano?

- the date of the last eruption approx. 1000-1500 years ago,

- a cool small volcanic exhalations - solfataras,

- old lava, strong erosion,

- the volcano does not generate seismic events (for,

- lack of active volcanoes in the neighboring area.

In my opinion, Ojos del Salado is a volcano, which can still be considered dormant, but in the process of expiration.


● Llullaillaco 6755m (Chile, Argentina)

Stratovolcano, which has three confirmed eruptions in the nineteenth century: in 1854., 1868, 1877. In terms of geology, it was just a second ago.

What suggests activity of the Llullaillaco volcano?

- dates of the last eruption (confirmed), the last in 1877,

- young lava,

- seismic shocks (for,

- active volcanoes in the neighborhood (volcanoes Aracar, Lascar).


What suggests that the Llullaillaco is dormant or extinct volcano?

- no signs of activity as the fumaroles (although a few times I felt the smell of sulfur).


Can be adopted that the Llullaillaco is an active volcano and, thus the highest active in the world. At this time, it is too early for other conclusions.


 In the pictures:

  • 1-28 ) Ojos del Salado - chilean side,
  • 28-64 ) Ojos del Salado - argentinian side,
  • 65-93) Ojos del Salado - geothermal field (solfataras & hot springs), 6460-6500 masl, chilean side,
  • 94-107) Ojos del Salado - glaciers & penitentes, Chile/Argentina,
  • 108) example from Altiplano Plateau, Bolivia,
  • 109-154) Llullaillaco, Chile side and summit Chile/Argentina.

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