The Guamuez (La Cocha) Lake



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The Guamuez Lake (also called La Cocha) lies at 2765 m a.s.l. southeast of Pasto. La Corota, its main island, houses a wildlife sanctuary of endemic species protected by the Ministry of the Environment. The La Cocha valley and its neighbor the Sibundoy valley (similar, but completely drained lake) are both seated along one of the main strike-slip faults, the Algeciras fault. This fault system borders the Northern Andes in southwestern Colombia, forming valleys along its trace due to local pull-apart stress associated to its movements. Several small volcanic structures are aligned over the main fault traces which limit the tectonic valleys, making La Cocha a unique landscape. The vegetation that could be found around La Cocha is also unique, because it represents one of the altitudinal lowest paramo ecosystems in the world.


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High altitude lakes, Volcanic landforms, Transtensional tectonics