Report on Momotombo (Nicaragua) — 27 January-2 February 2016
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 27 January-2 February 2016
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2016. Report on Momotombo (Nicaragua). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 27 January-2 February 2016. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
12.422°N, 86.54°W; summit elev. 1297 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
INETER reported that during 26-29 January RSAM values at Momotombo were at low to moderate levels, and gas emissions were at moderate levels. Crater incandescence from high-temperature gas emissions was observed at night during 26-27 January. A Strombolian explosion at 0344 on 30 January ejected tephra onto the E, NE, N, and NW flanks, and produced gas emissions. At 0529 on 31 January another explosion also ejected gas, ash, and incandescent material. Ashfall was reported in nearby areas including the communities of Boqueron, Puerto Momotombo (10 km WSW), and La Sabaneta. Moderate levels of gas emissions drifted SW towards Puerto Momotombo.
Geologic Background. Momotombo is a young, 1297-m-high 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 from Momotombo have flowed down the NW flank into the 4-km-wide Monte Galán caldera. The youthful cone of Momotombito forms a 391-m-high island offshore in Lake Managua. Momotombo has a long record of strombolian eruptions, punctuated by occasional larger 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 an April 10, 1996 earthquake, but later observations noted no significant changes in the crater. A major geothermal field is located on the southern flank of the volcano.