Report on Momotombo (Nicaragua) — March 2000

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 25, no. 3 (March 2000)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Momotombo (Nicaragua) Very low seismicity during April-November 1999

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2000. Report on Momotombo (Nicaragua). In: Wunderman, R (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 25:3. Smithsonian Institution. http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200003-344090.

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Momotombo

Nicaragua

12.423°N, 86.539°W; summit elev. 1270 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Seismic activity registered at Momotombo stayed at consistently low levels during the seven months of April-November 1999, with a total of 81 small earthquakes, 30 of them in May and 26 in August. Only a few of these events were able to be located. RSAM (real-time seismic amplitude measurement) values never rose above two units. Starting in December, and continuing through March 2000, the seismic station only worked intermittently. Very few events were detected during this period, including two earthquakes when the station worked during 1-15 March.

Geologic Background. Momotombo is a young stratovolcano that rises prominently above the NW shore of Lake Managua, forming one of Nicaragua's most familiar landmarks. Momotombo began growing about 4500 years ago at the SE end of the Marrabios Range and consists of a somma from an older edifice that is surmounted by a symmetrical younger cone with a 150 x 250 m wide summit crater. Young lava flows extend down the NW flank into the 4-km-wide Monte Galán caldera. The youthful cone of Momotombito forms an island offshore in Lake Managua. Momotombo has a long record of Strombolian eruptions, punctuated by occasional stronger explosive activity. The latest eruption, in 1905, produced a lava flow that traveled from the summit to the lower NE base. A small black plume was seen above the crater after a 10 April 1996 earthquake, but later observations noted no significant changes in the crater. A major geothermal field is located on the south flank.

Information Contacts: Wilfried Strauch and Virginia Tenorio, Dirección General de Geofísica, Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado 1761, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.ineter.gob.ni/).