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Report on San Cristobal (Nicaragua) — January 1988

San Cristobal

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 1 (January 1988)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

San Cristobal (Nicaragua) Gas puffs from the main crater

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1988. Report on San Cristobal (Nicaragua) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 13:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198801-344020

San Cristobal


12.702°N, 87.004°W; summit elev. 1745 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Geologists from the Open Univ and INETER collected data from several volcanoes in December 1987-January 1988. Temperatures were taken with an infrared radiometer measuring surface brightness temperature in the 8-14 µm range with emissivity set at 1.

On 16 January, gas was being emitted from the main crater in discrete puffs of varying strength that sometimes cleared the crater rim. A small ash eruption may have occurred in November 1987 at about the same time as at Telica.

Geological Summary. The San Cristóbal volcanic complex, consisting of five principal volcanic edifices, forms the NW end of the Marrabios Range. The symmetrical 1745-m-high youngest cone, named San Cristóbal (also known as El Viejo), is Nicaragua's highest volcano and is capped by a 500 x 600 m wide crater. El Chonco, with several flank lava domes, is located 4 km W of San Cristóbal; it and the eroded Moyotepe volcano, 4 km NE of San Cristóbal, are of Pleistocene age. Volcán Casita, containing an elongated summit crater, lies immediately east of San Cristóbal and was the site of a catastrophic landslide and lahar in 1998. The Plio-Pleistocene La Pelona caldera is located at the eastern end of the complex. Historical eruptions from San Cristóbal, consisting of small-to-moderate explosive activity, have been reported since the 16th century. Some other 16th-century eruptions attributed to Casita volcano are uncertain and may pertain to other Marrabios Range volcanoes.

Information Contacts: B. van Wyk de Vries, H. Rymer, and G.C. Brown, Open Univ; P. Hradecky and H. Taleno, INETER.