Report on Momotombo (Nicaragua) — 9 December-15 December 2015

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 December-15 December 2015
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2015. Report on Momotombo (Nicaragua). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 December-15 December 2015. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

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Momotombo

Nicaragua

12.423°N, 86.539°W; summit elev. 1270 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Based on INETER and SINAPRED reports, activity at Momotombo continued through 10 December. Fieldwork revealed a small, incandescent, circular crater halfway up Momotombo's E flank that was fuming during the morning on 6 December. An explosion on 7 December destroyed part of the crater. On 10 December SINAPRED reported that material had been accumulating in the crater since the beginning of the eruption on 1 December. Seismicity during 9-14 December was low and stable.

Geologic Background. Momotombo is a young stratovolcano that rises prominently above the NW shore of Lake Managua, forming one of Nicaragua's most familiar landmarks. Momotombo began growing about 4500 years ago at the SE end of the Marrabios Range and consists of a somma from an older edifice that is surmounted by a symmetrical younger cone with a 150 x 250 m wide summit crater. Young lava flows extend down the NW flank into the 4-km-wide Monte Galán caldera. The youthful cone of Momotombito forms an island offshore in Lake Managua. Momotombo has a long record of Strombolian eruptions, punctuated by occasional stronger explosive activity. The latest eruption, in 1905, produced a lava flow that traveled from the summit to the lower NE base. A small black plume was seen above the crater after a 10 April 1996 earthquake, but later observations noted no significant changes in the crater. A major geothermal field is located on the south flank.

Sources: Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Sistema Nacional para la Prevención, Mitigación y Atención de Desastres (SINAPRED)