Report on Santa Ana (El Salvador) — 7 December-13 December 2005

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 December-13 December 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, 7 December-13 December 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (7 December-13 December 2005)


Santa Ana

El Salvador

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Seismic activity began to increase at Santa Ana on 26 November. At that time, hundreds of metric tons of sulfur dioxide were emitted from the volcano each day, which was not as high as levels measured prior to the 1 October eruption. Gas emissions rose to ~300 m above the volcano and only slight changes were noted in the color of the lagoon in the interior of the crater. SNET stated that the high level of activity indicated that an eruption could occur in the following days. During 7-12 December, activity was still at high levels. The Alert Level remained at Red, the highest level, within a 5-km-radius around the volcano's central crater.

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)