Global Volcanism Program | Image GVP-07295
Geologists investigate an outcrop of the Tierra Blanca Joven (TBJ) formation about 10 km SE of Ilopango caldera. The TBJ was produced during the last of four major explosive eruptions that formed the caldera. Dacitic pyroclastic flows and ash and pumice fall blanketed much of central and western El Salvador. The eruption destroyed early Mayan cities and forced their abandonment for decades to centuries. Trade routes were disrupted, and the centers of Mayan civilization shifted from the highland areas of El Salvador to lowland areas to the north and in Guatemala.
Photo by Carlos Pullinger, 1996 (Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales, El Salvador).