Report on San Miguel (El Salvador) — 15 June-21 June 2016

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 June-21 June 2016
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2016. Report on San Miguel (El Salvador). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 June-21 June 2016. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (15 June-21 June 2016)


San Miguel

El Salvador

13.434°N, 88.269°W; summit elev. 2130 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


SNET reported that at 0800 on 15 June seismicity at San Miguel dramatically increased and remained elevated. At 0410 on 18 June a small explosion occurred in the central crater, ejecting tephra onto the flanks near the crater, and causing ashfall in areas to the NW. Voluminous gas emissions were visible drifting SW during 19-20 June, and local residents on the W and SW flanks reported a sulfur odor.

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.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (SNET)