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Report on Santa Maria (Guatemala) — August 1991

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 16, no. 8 (August 1991)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Santa Maria (Guatemala) Continued explosions and block lava production

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1991. Report on Santa Maria (Guatemala). In: McClelland, L. (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 16:8. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199108-342030.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


Santa Maria

Guatemala

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During a brief visit on 11 September, vertical explosions occurred hourly, producing plumes to about 1200 m height. The block lava flow erupting from the E summit of Caliente continued to flow down to the Río Nima II.

Geologic Background. Symmetrical, forest-covered Santa MarĂ­a volcano is part of a chain of large stratovolcanoes that rise above the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala. The sharp-topped, conical profile is cut on the SW flank by a 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 vents, with activity progressing W towards the most recent, Caliente. Dome growth has been accompanied by almost continuous minor explosions, with periodic lava extrusion, larger explosions, pyroclastic flows, and lahars.

Information Contacts: W.I. Rose, Michigan Technological Univ.