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Report on Santa Maria (Guatemala) — 2 June-8 June 2004

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 2 June-8 June 2004
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2004. Report on Santa Maria (Guatemala). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 2 June-8 June 2004. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (2 June-8 June 2004)

Santa Maria


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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

On 1 June, 33 weak to moderate explosions producing plumes up to 1.5 km above the summit were recorded at the Santiaguito dome of Santa María. Collapses on the SW side of the Caliente dome caused small pyroclastic flows to descend to the base of the Caliente and La Mitad domes. During 6-8 June, many weak to moderate explosions sending gas-and-ash plumes up to ~1.5 km above the summit of the Caliente dome were recorded, along with some avalanches and collapses on the flanks. Moderate lahars descended the Nimá Segundo river and San Isidro ravine on 1 and 6 June, respectively.

Geologic Background. Symmetrical, forest-covered Santa María 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.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)