Report on Telica (Nicaragua) — September 2000

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 25, no. 9 (September 2000)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Telica (Nicaragua) Gas-and-ash emissions in early 2000; fumarole temperature measurements

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2000. Report on Telica (Nicaragua). In: Wunderman, R (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 25:9. Smithsonian Institution.

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12.606°N, 86.84°W; summit elev. 1036 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Seismic and eruptive activity consisting of gas-and-ash explosions continued during January and through 17 February 2000, after which the activity began to gradually decline (BGVN 25:03). Observers near the summit on 13 January witnessed moderate explosions every five minutes from a new vent in the NNW part of the crater. In January the number of volcanic earthquakes was 3,950, and seismicity stayed high in February with 3,670 events. The volcano maintained constant tremor during March, but despite the continued high number of detected earthquakes (2,892) there were no gas or ash explosions.

Weak gas-and ash emissions occurred in April. Fumarole temperatures in the interior of the main crater and SW of the seismic station were moderate (table 1). In the main crater, fumaroles 1 and 4 (internal crater and on the NW wall, respectively) exhibited temperature increases compared to the last measurement in both February and April. Near the seismic station, between December 1999 and January 2000 the fumarole temperatures changed by less than 3°C, whereas by February temperatures had apparently changed by as much as 14°C compared to January values. However, measurements in February were made using an infrared pistol, a change from the thermocouple used previously.

Table 1. Fumarole temperatures at Telica measured at the Main Crater and SW of the seismic station (500 m E of the crater) during June 1999-April 2000. The measurements in December 1999 and January 2000 near the seismic station were made using a thermocouple; all others were made with an infrared pistol. Courtesy of INETER.

Fumarole Jun 1999 Jul 1999 Dec 1999 Jan 2000 Feb 2000 Apr 2000
Main Crater
1 107°C 55°C -- -- 60°C 66°C
2 58°C -- -- -- 59°C --
4 104°C 60°C -- -- 71°C 91°C
6 69°C 41°C -- -- 67°C 56°C
SW of the seismic station (500 m E of the crater)
1 -- -- 84°C 85°C 99°C --
2 -- -- 84°C 84°C 73°C --
3 -- -- 81°C 84°C 81°C --
4 -- -- 84°C 83°C 96°C --
5 -- -- 83°C 84°C 98°C --

Geologic Background. Telica, one of Nicaragua's most active volcanoes, has erupted frequently since the beginning of the Spanish era. This volcano group consists of several interlocking cones and vents with a general NW alignment. Sixteenth-century eruptions were reported at symmetrical Santa Clara volcano at the SW end of the group. However, its eroded and breached crater has been covered by forests throughout historical time, and these eruptions may have originated from Telica, whose upper slopes in contrast are unvegetated. The steep-sided cone of Telica is truncated by a 700-m-wide double crater; the southern crater, the source of recent eruptions, is 120 m deep. El Liston, immediately E, has several nested craters. The fumaroles and boiling mudpots of Hervideros de San Jacinto, SE of Telica, form a prominent geothermal area frequented by tourists, and geothermal exploration has occurred nearby.

Information Contacts: Wilfried Strauch and Virginia Tenorio, Dirección General de Geofísica, Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado 1761, Managua, Nicaragua (URL:, Email: