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Report on San Cristobal (Nicaragua) — 5 January-11 January 2011

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 January-11 January 2011
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on San Cristobal (Nicaragua). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 January-11 January 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (5 January-11 January 2011)


San Cristobal

Nicaragua

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that on 6 January a gas-and-steam plume from San Cristóbal, possibly containing ash, drifted 25 km SW. The VAAC noted a METAR weather notice stating that "smoke" was observed.

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.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)