Cotopaxi                                            THE DANGER WITHIN




Class Assignment 1

There has been no actual eruption of Cotopaxi since 1944, of which there is no description on the Global Volcanism Program Website. Based on the accounts of the destruction caused by this eruption, it was most likely a plinian eruption; pyroclastic flows and far-traveling lahars were observed in the 1944 eruption. Therefore, it was an explosive eruption. Since then, there has been one significant incident of activity. In October ,1975, vapor plumes were seen rising from the volcano, and small earthquakes were reported. The activity continued but did not increase in October and eventually decreased and ceased in December.2

Class Assignment 2

Note: I made this up

  Local legend has it that the God of the Earth and the Goddess of the Clouds are responsible for the violent eruptions of Cotopaxi. It is said that they fell in love in ancient times, formed a blessed union between the skies and the earth, and produced many children. Their fourth child, Cotopaxi, was one of seven males. Being the middle child, he often felt ignored by his parents and siblings. His older and younger brothers were given great powers by their parents and received tremendous recognition for their strength and wits. Cotopaxi, consumed with jealousy for his siblings' success, swore that he would find a way to get proper recognition for his strengths, even if it meant harming his family. One night, he snuck into the chamber of his parents and killed them both, thus obtaining their powers. With his newfound control of the clouds and the earth, he grew power-hungry and wild, causing destruction and chaos throughout the land. He blackened the sky with clouds and made the earth tremble. Soon, the God of the Skies, the strongest being of all, grew frustrated that he could not see through the thick black clouds. He asked the eldest of Cotopaxi's brothers why this was, and when he heard what had happened, he grew angry and knew that something must be done. He gathered up Cotopaxi's siblings, who were not strong enough to fight their brother on their own, and attacked Cotopaxi. He crushed the the young God with bolts of lightning, hammering him into submission while the united brothers threw rocks and earth at him from all sides. Soon, Cotopaxi became trapped in a pile of rock that towered over the earth, with nothing but a hole at the top from which to breathe. The God of the Skies said that Cotopaxi would be imprisoned there for all eternity for what he had done, and the brothers rejoiced as balance was returned to the sky and the earth. But, every once in a while, Cotopaxi regains some strength and tries to  break out of his imprisonment, using his powers to shoot great hot clouds of ash in the air and across the land, and sending powerful mudflows from the side of his prison great distances from his shaking. Sometimes, as legend has it, if he gets close enough to escaping, the God of the Skies sends rain and bolts of lightning down to weaken the angry Cotopaxi.


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