Agua

Photo of this volcano
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 14.465°N
  • 90.743°W

  • 3760 m
    12333 ft

  • 342100
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Agua.

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

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

Eruptive History


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


Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1541 Sep 11 ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.

Photo Gallery


Agua volcano forms a scenic backdrop to the historical colonial city of Antigua Guatemala and is one of three major volcanoes surrounding the town. The capital city of Guatemala was moved here following a catastrophic mudflow from Agua in 1541 that destroyed the former capital city, now known as Ciudad Vieja.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1988 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
Agua volcano towers above the town of Santa María de Jesus on its NE flank. The shallow summit crater of Agua is notched on its northern side and was the source of a major mudflow in 1541 that destroyed towns on the NW flank of the volcano. This catastrophe was not accompanied by an eruption.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1988 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
Agua volcano (left) rises above the clouds west of Lake Amatitlán, located in the Amatitlán caldera. This 14 x 16 km wide Pleistocene caldera has produced many large explosive eruptions whose deposits underlie Guatemala City and surrounding areas. Pacaya volcano, out of view to the left, was constructed over the buried southern rim of Amatitlán caldera. The 3760-m-high Agua volcano is younger than Amatitlán, but has had no historical eruptions.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1988 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
A small atmospheric cloud caps the summit of symmetrical Agua volcano, which rises to 3760 m above the city of Escuintla. The volcano towers 3400 m above the city, the largest on the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala. Escuintla underlies a massive debris-avalanche deposit from the Fuego-Acatenango massif, out of view to the left. No historical eruptions have occurred from Agua, but its relatively undissected profile indicates a youthful age.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1988 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
The beautifully symmetrical Agua volcano towers to 3760 m above the near-sea-level Pacific coastal plain to its south. Activity at Agua has continued into the Holocene, but no historical eruptions are known. The foreground surface is part of a massive Escuintla debris-avalanche deposit most likely produced by collapse of the Acatenango-Fuego massif, out of view to the left.

Photo by Jim Vallance, 1989 (Michigan Technological University).
See title for photo information.
Agua volcano towers to the east above the ancient capital city of Ciudad Vieja. A mudflow from Agua in 1541 CE destroyed this city, the first capital established by the Spanish conquistadors. The catastrophe caused the capital city to be relocated to nearby Antigua Guatemala.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1988 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
Agua volcano, seen here from the NE, is the most prominent volcano visible from Guatemala City. No historical eruptions have occurred at Agua volcano, despite its symmetrical, uneroded profile, and the volcano has not been studied in detail. Fuego volcano at the left center has been much more active, with about 60 eruptions during historical time.

Photo by Mike Carr, 1967 (Rutgers University).
See title for photo information.
Symmetrical Volcán de Agua, seen here in an aerial view from the SE, is the easternmost of a chain of 3000-m-high conical stratovolcanoes rising above the Pacific coastal plain. The town of Palín at the lower right lies along the highway between Guatemala City (just out of view to the right) and Escuintla. No historical eruptions are known from Agua, which has the distinction of a soccer field in its small summit crater.

Copyrighted photo by Stephen O'Meara, 1994.
See title for photo information.
Conical Volcán de Agua is one of Guatemala's most dramatic landmarks. Its 3760-m-high summit is prominent from Guatemala City. The summit crater of Agua is breached to the north, in the direction of this photo. Despite its youthful profile, no historical eruptions are known from Agua.

Copyrighted photo by Stephen O'Meara (1993).
See title for photo information.
Thick units of the 84,000-year-old Los Chocoyos Ash are exposed south of Guatemala City, more than 100 km from its source at Atitlán caldera. Three flow units are visible here. The pinkish layer at the center of the outcrop is the oxidized top of the pyroclastic-flow deposit and is one cooling unit. The bottom two layers are the top and bottom halves of the thick white layer of the pyroclastic-flow deposit. The two fall deposits above the Los Chocoyos Ash are unit E from Amatitlán caldera and the younger unit C from Agua volcano.

Photo by Bill Rose, 1978 (Michigan Technological University).
See title for photo information.
Of the four major Guatemalan volcanoes in this photo, only conical Agua volcano (right-center horizon) has not erupted during historical time. Lava flows from MacKenney cone (forming the slope in the left foreground) have filled in the moat of the caldera of Pacaya volcano almost to the level of the lower crater rim of Cerro Chino (right-center foreground), whose summit bristles with communication antennas. The twin volcanoes on the left horizon are Fuego (left), one of the most active in Guatemala, and Acatenango (right).

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
The flanks of Pacaya volcano provide a spectacular vista of the twin volcanoes of Fuego and Acatenango (left) and conical Agua volcano (right). Despite its youthful profile, Agua has not erupted in historical time. These impressive volcanoes all exceed 3500 m in elevation and rise from near sea level on the Pacific coastal plain to the south. Volcanism at the Acatenango-Fuego pair has migrated to the south, and Fuego, its summit kept free of vegetation by frequent eruptions, is one of Guatemala's most active volcanoes.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
Steaming Pacaya volcano (lower right) lies across a valley from symmetrical Agua volcano (upper left). Pacaya was constructed near the southern margin of Amatitlán caldera, whose SE rim lies near the right-center margin. The 14 x 16 km wide caldera was formed during a series of major silicic explosive eruptions between about 300,000 and 23,000 years ago. The irregular margins of Lake Amatitlán are constrained on the SW side by post-caldera lava domes. The outskirts of Guatemala City lie at the upper right.

NASA Landsat image, 2000 (courtesy of Loren Siebert, University of Akron).
See title for photo information.
The historical city of Antigua Guatemala (top-right margin) is surrounded by three major stratovolcanoes in this Landsat view with north to the upper right. Dark-colored Acatenango volcano (upper left) and the unvegetated summit of Fuego volcano lie SW of the city, and Agua volcano (right-center) lies south. No historical eruptions from Agua are known, although mudflows in 1541 caused the abandonment of Ciudad Vieja, the previous capital city of Guatemala. Barrancas radiating SE from Fuego are light-colored from deposits of historical eruptions.

NASA Landsat image, 2000 (courtesy of Loren Siebert, University of Akron).
See title for photo information.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


There are no samples for Agua in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

Affiliated Sites