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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 13.419°N
  • 88.471°W

  • 1449 m
    4753 ft

  • 343081
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Usulutan.

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

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

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



Unknown - Evidence Credible

1449 m / 4753 ft


Volcano Types

Pyroclastic cone(s)

Rock Types

Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)


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

Geological Summary

Usulután volcano anchors the SE end of a cluster of basaltic to basaltic-andesite stratovolcanoes between San Vicente and San Miguel volcanoes. The flanks of the forested Usulután volcano are dissected, but youthful lava flows are present on its southern flanks. The younger summit rocks of 1449-m-high Usulután and Cerro Nanzal pyroclastic cone on the lower SE flank were mapped as Holocene (Weber and Wiesemann, 1978). A broad 1.3-km-wide crater is breached to the east from the summit of Usulután to its lower flank.


The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography.

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..

Weber H S, Wiesemann G, 1978. Mapa Geologico de la Republica de El Salvador/America Central. Bundesanstalt fur Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Hannover, Germany, 1:100,000 scale geologic map in 6 sheets.

Williams H, Meyer-Abich H, 1955. Volcanism in the southern part of El Salvador with particular reference to the collapse basins of Lakes Coatepeque and Ilopango. Univ Calif Pub Geol Sci, 32: 1-64.

The Global Volcanism Program is not aware of any Holocene eruptions from Usulutan. If this volcano has had large eruptions (VEI >= 4) prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found on the Usulutan page in the LaMEVE (Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions) database, a part of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).

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.


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Nanzal, Cerro Pyroclastic cone 377 m 13° 23' 12" N 88° 26' 14" W
Santa Elena Cone 13° 26' 0" N 88° 28' 0" W

Photo Gallery

Usulután volcano (right), at the SE end of a cluster of stratovolcanoes west of San Miguel volcano, has an eroded summit crater, but youthful flows are present on its southern flanks. La Manita (left) a small cone to the NE of Usulután on the flank of El Tigre volcano has also been mapped as Holocene in age, along with Cerro Nanzal, a pyroclastic cone on the SE flank of Usulután. No historical eruptions are known from Usulután.

Photo by Kristal Dorion, 1994 (U.S. Geological Survey).
A large erosional valley 1.3 km wide at its head cuts the eastern flank of the basaltic to basaltic-andesite Usulután volcano. It is seen here from the flanks of Chinameca volcano to its NE with the Pacific Ocean in the distance at the left. Despite its prominence, Usulután volcano has not been studied in detail.

Photo by Carlos Pullinger, 1996 (Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales, El Salvador).
Four peaks of the 40-km-long Sierra Tecapa range rise to the NE above the Pacific coastal plain. On the left is Volcán Taburete, and in the center is El Tigre volcano. The high peak at the right is Usulután, and in the distance at the far right is San Miguel volcano, the highest in eastern El Salvador.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
Usulután volcano rises above the Pacific coastal plain at the SE end of a cluster of stratovolcanoes between San Vicente and San Miguel volcanoes. The forested Usulután volcano is mostly dissected, but youthful lava flows are present on its southern flanks, and the volcano was mapped in part as Holocene in age. Several large erosional craters cut the flanks of Usulután, including the valley seen in this view cutting the SW flank. The rounded peak at the left is the young cone of Cerro Oromontique on the margin of El Tigre volcano.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
The rounded peak of Usulután is the 2nd highest of a cluster of volcanic peaks north of the Pacific coastal plain between San Vicente and San Miguel volcanoes. Usulután is seen here from the SSW with a large erosional valley cutting its flank. Cerro Oromontique, the small peak on the left horizon, was erupted along a fissure cutting the flank of El Tigre volcano. Relatively young lava flows are located on the southern flank of Usulután volcano.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
An E-W-trending chain of volcanoes extends ca. 30 km across eastern El Salvador. The small light-colored dot at the left is Laguna de Alegria, a crater of the Tecapa volcanic complex. No historical eruptions are known from the eroded Usulután and El Tigre volcanoes. The 2-km-wide Laguna Seca el Pacayal caldera is a prominent feature of Chinameca volcano. San Miguel is one of El Salvador's most active volcanoes; the dark area at the lower right is a lava flow from the 1819 eruption. The city of San Miguel is at the upper right.

NASA Space Shuttle image STS61C-31-47, 1986 (

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

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

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Usulutan 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).
MODVOLC - HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System Using infrared satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, scientists at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, developed an automated system called MODVOLC to map thermal hot-spots in near real time. For each MODIS image, the algorithm automatically scans each 1 km pixel within it to check for high-temperature hot-spots. When one is found the date, time, location, and intensity are recorded. MODIS looks at every square km of the Earth every 48 hours, once during the day and once during the night, and the presence of two MODIS sensors in space allows at least four hot-spot observations every two days. Each day updated global maps are compiled to display the locations of all hot spots detected in the previous 24 hours. There is a drop-down list with volcano names which allow users to 'zoom-in' and examine the distribution of hot-spots at a variety of spatial scales.
MIROVA Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity (MIROVA) is a near real time volcanic hot-spot detection system based on the analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data. In particular, MIROVA uses the Middle InfraRed Radiation (MIR), measured over target volcanoes, in order to detect, locate and measure the heat radiation sourced from volcanic activity.