Report on San Cristobal (Nicaragua) — 22 May-28 May 2002

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 May-28 May 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on San Cristobal (Nicaragua). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 May-28 May 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (22 May-28 May 2002)


San Cristobal

Nicaragua

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


INETER reported that on 23 May around dawn a vapor column was observed rising above San Cristóbal. The plume was attributed to rain contacting hot material in the crater. There was no indication of an increase in volcanism at San Cristóbal. According to the Washington VAAC, the plume rose ~3 km a.s.l. and drifted to the SW. For the previous few months seismicity had been at moderate levels.

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.

Sources: Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)