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Report on Santa Ana (El Salvador) — 14 September-20 September 2005

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 September-20 September 2005
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2005. Report on Santa Ana (El Salvador). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 September-20 September 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (14 September-20 September 2005)


Santa Ana

El Salvador

13.853°N, 89.63°W; summit elev. 2381 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During 15-19 September, seismicity and gas emissions were above normal levels at Santa Ana as they had been since 27 July. Microseismicity remained at relatively high levels. During the report period, gas plumes rose to ~500 m above the volcano (or 9,400 ft a.s.l.) and the sulfur-dioxide flux reached a maximum of 3,320 metric tons per day on 16 September. No significant changes were seen at the volcano's crater when observed on 19 September in comparison to 13 September. Intense degassing continued and the lagoon remained a "dark coffee" color. Incandescence was visible inside some cracks. Santa Ana remained at Alert Level Yellow Phase 1.

Geologic Background. Santa Ana, El Salvador's highest volcano, is a massive, dominantly andesitic-to-trachyandesitic stratovolcano that rises immediately W of Coatepeque caldera. Collapse of Santa Ana (also known as Ilamatepec) during the late Pleistocene produced a voluminous debris avalanche that swept into the Pacific Ocean, forming the Acajutla Peninsula. Reconstruction of the volcano subsequently filled most of the collapse scarp. The broad summit is cut by several crescentic craters, and a series of parasitic vents and cones have formed along a 20-km-long fissure system that extends from near the town of Chalchuapa NNW of the volcano to the San Marcelino and Cerro la Olla cinder cones on the SE flank. Historical activity, largely consisting of small-to-moderate explosive eruptions from both summit and flank vents, has been documented since the 16th century. The San Marcelino cinder cone on the SE flank produced a lava flow in 1722 that traveled 13 km E.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (SNET)