Tunupa volcano

In 2010 I returned to Bolivia to begin a new project with Ingeniero Néstor Jiménez, an igneous petrologist at the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés in La Paz. I had met Néstor a few years earlier when he was part of the SW Bolivia ignimbrite collaboration. As luck would have it, friend and fellow geology PhD student at Oregon State University, Barry Walker Jr., was finishing up with some fieldwork in Chile and was able to join us in the field.

Victor drove us again, but this time with the new University vehicle that gave Barry and I plenty of room to spread out in the back.

Our last view of La Paz before leaving the city.

Volcán Tunupa from the steps of our hotel in the north end of Salinas de Garci Mendoza. One of the best and friendliest hotels in Bolivia.

The fields around Tunupa and nearby volcanoes are a major quinoa growing region.

Our crew on the eastern side of the volcano. From left: me, Barry, Néstor, and Victor. The summit in the background is heavily altered and we didn’t sample it.

Volcán Tunupa’s eastern flank. The star marks where the previous photo was taken. This was our highest point that we reached, over 4.5 kilometers above sea level. We hiked down from there collecting rocks from individual lava flows as we went.

Néstor and Victor look down at the Salar de Uyuni.


Tunupa and the setting sun.

We took a drive into the salar for a view of Tunupa.

The results of this study will be published soon if all goes well (update: it went well). Tunupa is also an important part of my current study at Durham. To see how it fits in, see the background section.