Report on Telica (Nicaragua) — 18 November-24 November 2015
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 November-24 November 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, 18 November-24 November 2015. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
12.602°N, 86.845°W; summit elev. 1061 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Based on wind and satellite data, pilot observations, and webcam images, the Washington VAAC reported that on 22 November an ash plume from Telica rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted almost 100 km W. According to news articles, (at least) two explosions, at 0847 and 0848, generated ash plumes that rose 2 km and ejected tephra at least 900 m away. An unstated number of people living within a 900-m-radius evacuated, and residents in Agua Fría (also 900 m away) noted it was the first time variously-sized lapilli and blocks had reached their community. Ash fell in at least 70 communities in the municipalities of Quezalguaque (13 km SW), Posoltega (16 km WSW), Chichigalpa (20 km WSW), and Chinandega (30 km W).
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 1061-m-high 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 SE of Telica, 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.