Report on Santa Maria (Guatemala) — 29 May-4 June 2013
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 May-4 June 2013
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Report on Santa Maria (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 May-4 June 2013. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.756°N, 91.552°W; summit elev. 3772 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
INSIVUMEH reported that on 29 May white gas plumes rose 200 m above Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex and drifted W. Avalanches occurred on the NE and S flanks of the dome. An explosion on 30 May generated an ash plume that rose 500 m; ashfall was reported in Calahuaché village. On 1 June a weak lahar descended the Nima I drainage on the SE flank, and on 2 June dense white plumes rose from the dome. At 1855 on 4 June a lahar again descended the Nima I drainage and was about 40 m wide and 2.5 m thick.
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.