Report on Santa Maria (Guatemala) — March 1997

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 22, no. 3 (March 1997)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Santa Maria (Guatemala) Reports of 6 February dome collapse proven false

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1997. Report on Santa Maria (Guatemala). In: Wunderman, R (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 22:3. Smithsonian Institution. http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199703-342030.

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Santa Maria

Guatemala

14.757°N, 91.552°W; summit elev. 3745 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Reports of a significant dome collapse at Santiaguito on 6 February were proven false during investigations conducted by geologists from the Instituto Nacional de Sismología, Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hydrología (INSIVUMEH). It is likely that minor downslope movement of loose debris near the summit caused the report.

At 1900 and 2100 on 11 February, local residents from farms S of the dome saw a significant dacitic lava flow.

Geologic Background. Symmetrical, forest-covered Santa MarĂ­a volcano is one of the most prominent of a chain of large stratovolcanoes that rises dramatically above the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala. The 3772-m-high stratovolcano has a sharp-topped, conical profile that is cut on the SW flank by a large, 1.5-km-wide crater. The oval-shaped crater extends from just below the summit to the lower flank and was formed during a catastrophic eruption in 1902. The renowned plinian eruption of 1902 that devastated much of SW Guatemala followed a long repose period after construction of the large basaltic-andesite stratovolcano. The massive dacitic Santiaguito lava-dome complex has been growing at the base of the 1902 crater since 1922. Compound dome growth at Santiaguito has occurred episodically from four westward-younging vents, the most recent of which is Caliente. Dome growth has been accompanied by almost continuous minor explosions, with periodic lava extrusion, larger explosions, pyroclastic flows, and lahars.

Information Contacts: Otoniel Matías, INSIVUMEH, Guatemala; Barry Cameron and Shane Rundle, Northern Illinois University, USA.