Report on San Miguel (El Salvador) — 9 April-15 April 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 April-15 April 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on San Miguel (El Salvador). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 April-15 April 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
13.434°N, 88.269°W; summit elev. 2130 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
According to SNET, the Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (MARN) reported that on 12 April moderate to strong gas plumes from San Miguel rose from the crater and drifted SW. The most robust plume occurred at 1607 and rose 400 m. Images recorded by a webcam showed that the plumes had dark tones, suggesting small amounts of ash.
Geologic Background. The symmetrical cone of San Miguel volcano, one of the most active in El Salvador, rises from near sea level to form one of the country's most prominent landmarks. The unvegetated summit rises above slopes draped with coffee plantations. A broad, deep crater complex that has been frequently modified by historical eruptions (recorded since the early 16th century) caps the truncated summit, also known locally as Chaparrastique. Radial fissures on the flanks of the basaltic-andesitic volcano have fed a series of historical lava flows, including several erupted during the 17th-19th centuries that reached beyond the base of the volcano on the N, NE, and SE sides. The SE-flank flows are the largest and form broad, sparsely vegetated lava fields crossed by highways and a railroad skirting the base of the volcano. The location of flank vents has migrated higher on the edifice during historical time, and the most recent activity has consisted of minor ash eruptions from the summit crater.