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Report on San Miguel (El Salvador) — 4 March-10 March 2020

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 March-10 March 2020
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2020. Report on San Miguel (El Salvador). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 March-10 March 2020. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (4 March-10 March 2020)


San Miguel

El Salvador

13.434°N, 88.269°W; summit elev. 2130 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


SNET stated that during 28 February-6 March there were no reports of noises or gas emissions at San Miguel from the network of local observers. Seismicity was stable; 50-60 low-magnitude earthquakes were recorded per hour with RSAM values between 40 and 98 units, lower than the normal values of 150. The sulfur dioxide emission flux was 517-808 tons per day.

Geologic Background. The symmetrical cone of San Miguel volcano, one of the most active in El Salvador, rises from near sea level to form one of the country's most prominent landmarks. The unvegetated summit rises above slopes draped with coffee plantations. A broad, deep crater complex that has been frequently modified by historical eruptions (recorded since the early 16th century) caps the truncated summit, also known locally as Chaparrastique. Radial fissures on the flanks of the basaltic-andesitic volcano have fed a series of historical lava flows, including several erupted during the 17th-19th centuries that reached beyond the base of the volcano on the N, NE, and SE sides. The SE-flank flows are the largest and form broad, sparsely vegetated lava fields crossed by highways and a railroad skirting the base of the volcano. The location of flank vents has migrated higher on the edifice during historical time, and the most recent activity has consisted of minor ash eruptions from the summit crater.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (SNET)