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Report on San Cristobal (Nicaragua) — January 1981

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 6, no. 1 (January 1981)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

San Cristobal (Nicaragua) Gas plume becomes intermittent; elevated seismicity

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1981. Report on San Cristobal (Nicaragua). In: McClelland, L (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 6:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198101-344020.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


San Cristobal

Nicaragua

12.702°N, 87.004°W; summit elev. 1745 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


The gas plume released essentially continuously since 1971 has become intermittent. Periods of energetic gas release of less than 1 hour duration were separated by periods (measured in hours) of only low fumarolic release. Shallow seismic activity continued at levels above background.

Geologic Background. The San Cristóbal volcanic complex, consisting of five principal volcanic edifices, forms the NW end of the Marrabios Range. The symmetrical 1745-m-high youngest cone, named San Cristóbal (also known as El Viejo), is Nicaragua's highest volcano and is capped by a 500 x 600 m wide crater. El Chonco, with several flank lava domes, is located 4 km W of San Cristóbal; it and the eroded Moyotepe volcano, 4 km NE of San Cristóbal, are of Pleistocene age. Volcán Casita, containing an elongated summit crater, lies immediately east of San Cristóbal and was the site of a catastrophic landslide and lahar in 1998. The Plio-Pleistocene La Pelona caldera is located at the eastern end of the complex. Historical eruptions from San Cristóbal, consisting of small-to-moderate explosive activity, have been reported since the 16th century. Some other 16th-century eruptions attributed to Casita volcano are uncertain and may pertain to other Marrabios Range volcanoes.

Information Contacts: R. Stoiber and S. Williams, Dartmouth College; D. de Jerez, Instituto Nicaraguense de Recursos Naturales (IRENA); D. Fajardo B., Instituto de Investigaciones Sísmicas.