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Report on Tacana (Mexico-Guatemala) — February 1988


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 2 (February 1988)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Tacana (Mexico-Guatemala) Steam emission and local seismicity continue

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1988. Report on Tacana (Mexico-Guatemala) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 13:2. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198802-341130



15.132°N, 92.109°W; summit elev. 4064 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Geologists (Gerardo Sánchez Rubio, UNAM; Rudy Machorro Sagastume, Univ of Guanajuato; Aroldo López Perdomo, CUNOR, Guatemala; Napoleón Rodríguez and Víctor Danilo Valdez, INTECAP, Guatemala; and Juan Sánchez Márquez, México) visited Tacaná on 27-28 January. A flank steam plume continued to be emitted. Residents of Tacaná and Sibinal, the nearest villages in Guatemala, reported infrequent to occasional seismicity.

Geological Summary. Tacaná is a 4064-m-high composite stratovolcano that straddles the México/Guatemala border at the NW end of the Central American volcanic belt. The volcano rises 1800 m above deeply dissected plutonic and metamorphic terrain. Three large calderas breached to the south, and the elongated summit region is dominated by a series of lava domes intruded along a NE-SW trend. Volcanism has migrated to the SW, and a small adventive lava dome is located in the crater of the youngest volcano, San Antonio, on the upper SW flank. Viscous lava flow complexes are found on the north and south flanks, and lobate lahar deposits fill many valleys. Radial drainages on the Guatemalan side are deflected by surrounding mountains into the Pacific coastal plain on the SW side of the volcano. Historical activity has been restricted to mild phreatic eruptions, but more powerful explosive activity, including the production of pyroclastic flows, has occurred as recently as about 1950 years ago.

Information Contacts: Gerardo Sánchez Rubio, Estación Regional del Centro, Instituto de Geología, UNAM, Guanajuato, México.