Report on San Cristobal (Nicaragua) — 10 March-16 March 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
10 March-16 March 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on San Cristobal (Nicaragua). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 March-16 March 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
12.702°N, 87.004°W; summit elev. 1745 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
SINAPRED reported that a series of five explosions at San Cristóbal were recorded during 1306-1332 on 9 March. The strongest explosion, at 1325, produced an ash plume that rose 800 m above the crater rim. Ashfall as deep as 2 mm was reported in El Viejo (19 km WSW), Chinandega (16 km SW), and Chichigalapa (16 km S); ash also fell in other communities downwind including Las Grecias, La Mora, and La Bolsa.
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.