An oceanic deep lies off the Chilean coast, bordered on the east by a coastal mountain range, a discontinuous central valley, and the high cordillera of the Andes.

The Chilean volcanoes are found on lineaments that in general coincide with, or are sub parallel to, axis of the Andes. In north Chile they lie along en echelon fractures and, in some cases, along transverse fractures. In the south, the alignment of the volcanoes lies west of the axis of the Andes. Where the Central Valley is not well developed, active volcanoes are scarce.

Recent lavas range from basalt in the south to rhyolite in the north. Volcanic activity appears to be decreasing.

Details are given of individual volcanoes, and a list of active Andean volcanoes south of Volcan Misti is presented with a historical account of their activity.

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