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Report on Santa Maria (Guatemala) — 13 June-19 June 2018

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 13 June-19 June 2018
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2018. Report on Santa Maria (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 13 June-19 June 2018. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (13 June-19 June 2018)


Santa Maria

Guatemala

14.757°N, 91.552°W; summit elev. 3745 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


INSIVUMEH reported that on 13 June lahars descended Nimá I drainage on the S flank of Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex. The lahars were 15-18 m wide and 1-2 m deep, and carried blocks 1.5 m in diameter and tree branches. CONRED noted that a Yellow Alert Level was declared for Quetzaltenango (18 km WNW) on 16 June due to continuing rains and an increased threat of lahars. Weak explosions during 16-18 June generated diffuse ash plumes that rose 700 m above the complex and drifted SW and W.

Geologic Background. Symmetrical, forest-covered Santa María volcano is one of the most prominent of a chain of large stratovolcanoes that rises dramatically above the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala. The 3772-m-high stratovolcano has a sharp-topped, conical profile that is cut on the SW flank by a large, 1.5-km-wide crater. The oval-shaped crater extends from just below the summit to the lower flank and was formed during a catastrophic eruption in 1902. The renowned plinian eruption of 1902 that devastated much of SW Guatemala followed a long repose period after construction of the large basaltic-andesite stratovolcano. The massive dacitic Santiaguito lava-dome complex has been growing at the base of the 1902 crater since 1922. Compound dome growth at Santiaguito has occurred episodically from four westward-younging vents, the most recent of which is Caliente. Dome growth has been accompanied by almost continuous minor explosions, with periodic lava extrusion, larger explosions, pyroclastic flows, and lahars.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)