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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 15.043°N
  • 91.903°W

  • 4203 m
    13786 ft

  • 342020
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Tajumulco.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Tajumulco.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Tajumulco.

Volcano Types


Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Andesite / Basaltic Andesite


Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km

Geological Summary

Tajumulco is Guatemala's highest peak and the highest volcano in Central America. Two summits, one with a 50-70 m wide crater, lie along a NW-SE line. A lava flow from the ~4200-m-high NW summit traveled down a deep valley on the NW flank. The andesitic-dacitic volcano was constructed over the NW end of a large arcuate SW-facing escarpment of uncertain origin. Tajumulco has had several unconfirmed reports of historical eruptions. Sapper (1917) considered it to have erupted during historical time, but without accurate dates. The volcano was reported to eject many rocks, destroying houses on 24 October 1765, but this may have been a rock avalanche. Juarros reported some eruptions before 1808, and there are unlikely reports of eruptions in 1821 (or 1822), 1863, and 1893 (Incer 1988, unpublished manuscript).

Eruptive History

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1863 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2  
[ 1821 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2  

The Global Volcanism Program has no synonyms or subfeatures listed for Tajumulco.

Photo Gallery

Tajumulco, the highest volcano in Central America, is seen here from the NW from the slopes of Tacaná volcano, which lies along the México/Guatemala border. Conical Tajumulco volcano has twin summits, which are not distinguishable in this view. A lava flow from Tajumulco's NW summit traveled NW down a deep valley on the flank. Tajumulco has had several unconfirmed reports of historical eruptions.

Photo by Norm Banks, 1987 (U.S. Geological Survey).
A road in the relatively sparsely populated far western part of Guatemala approaches the NE side of the summit massif of Tajumulco volcano; this side has gentler slopes and higher agricultural use than the NW side. Tajumulco lies NW of the main tourist areas in the Central Highlands and is infrequently visited. The volcano is located closer to Tacaná volcano on the México/Guatemala border than it is to other Guatemalan volcanoes.

Photo by Bill Rose, 1986 (Michigan Technological University).
Tajumulco, the highest volcano in Central America, is seen here from the NNW. The volcano rises steeply above deeply dissected valleys cut in plutonic and Tertiary volcanic rocks. Despite its prominence, the 4220-m-high volcano is located in a relatively infrequently visited part of western Guatemala and is much less known than many other Guatemalan volcanoes. Tajumulco has had several unconfirmed reports of historical eruptions.

Photo by Bill Rose, 1986 (Michigan Technological University).
Tajumulco's southern flanks (left), which descend toward the Pacific coastal plain, are steeper than its northern flanks. Dioritic plutonic rocks are exposed at the base of the volcano. Tajumulco is Guatemala's (and Central America's) highest volcano, but is one of the least known of the country's major volcanoes.

Photo by Bill Rose, 1986 (Michigan Technological University).


The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

Carr M J, 1984. Symmetrical and segmented variation of physical and geochemical characterisitics of the Central American volcanic front. J Volc Geotherm Res, 20: 231-252.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Incer J, 1988. Central American volcanic events (1524-1924). Unpublished manuscript, 52 p.

Mooser F, Meyer-Abich H, McBirney A R, 1958. Central America. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 6: 1-146.

Sapper K, 1925. The Volcanoes of Central America. Halle: Verlag Max Niemeyer, 144 p.

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Tajumulco Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.