Report on Telica (Nicaragua) — 20 May-26 May 2015
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 May-26 May 2015
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2015. Report on Telica (Nicaragua). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 May-26 May 2015. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
12.606°N, 86.84°W; summit elev. 1036 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 8 May INETER reported that activity at Telica had been increasing. Earthquakes SE of the volcano and seven small-intensity explosions had been detected during an unspecified period, although a M 2.4 earthquake had occurred at 1102 on 7 May. During 11-12 May there were 18 explosions, for a total of 64 since the increased activity began. An explosion at 0950 on 12 May was accompanied by small quantities of ash emissions. At 1223 an explosion generated a gas-and-ash plume and ejected hot rocks (pre-existing material) 400 m high and to the W. Minor ashfall was reported in El Realejo, Corinth, Posoltega, and Chichigalpa. Seismicity was at normal levels. By 1200 on 18 May a total of 421 small explosions had been detected (164 in the previous 24 hours); gas emissions were low. During 18-20 May reports noted that 31 small gas explosions had been detected; ash had not been detected since 17 May and activity was decreasing. During 21-22 May 16 small gas explosions occurred, for a total of 540 explosions. Gas explosions continued during 22-24 May. A few of the explosions ejected hot rock fragments and generated ash plumes. Ashfall was reported in Posoltega, Guanacastal, Quezalguaque, Chinandega, El Viejo, Chichigalpa, and El Realejo.
Geologic Background. Telica, one of Nicaragua's most active volcanoes, has erupted frequently since the beginning of the Spanish era. This volcano group consists of several interlocking cones and vents with a general NW alignment. Sixteenth-century eruptions were reported at symmetrical Santa Clara volcano at the SW end of the group. However, its eroded and breached crater has been covered by forests throughout historical time, and these eruptions may have originated from Telica, whose upper slopes in contrast are unvegetated. The steep-sided cone of Telica is truncated by a 700-m-wide double crater; the southern crater, the source of recent eruptions, is 120 m deep. El Liston, immediately E, has several nested craters. The fumaroles and boiling mudpots of Hervideros de San Jacinto, SE of Telica, form a prominent geothermal area frequented by tourists, and geothermal exploration has occurred nearby.