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Report on Santa Maria (Guatemala) — 24 June-30 June 2020

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 June-30 June 2020
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2020. Report on Santa Maria (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 June-30 June 2020. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (24 June-30 June 2020)


Santa Maria

Guatemala

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


INSIVUMEH reported that during 24-29 June explosions at Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex generated ash plumes that rose 700-1,000 m above the crater and drifted as far as 1 km S, SW, W, and N. Crater incandescence was visible most nights. Avalanches of blocks descended the SE, S, and SW flanks of Caliente cone and sometimes reached the base of the complex. Local ashfall around the volcano was sometimes reported.

Geologic Background. Symmetrical, forest-covered Santa María 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.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)