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Agua

Photo of this volcano
  • Guatemala
  • México and Central America
  • Stratovolcano
  • Unknown - Evidence Credible
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 14.465°N
  • 90.743°W

  • 3760 m
    12336 ft

  • 342100
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Agua.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Agua.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Agua.

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.

Eruptive History

There is data available for 1 Holocene eruptive periods.

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1541 Sep 11 ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    
Deformation History

There is no Deformation History data available for Agua.

Emission History

There is no Emissions History data available for Agua.

Photo Gallery

This dramatic photo looking SE down the axis of a chain of volcanoes extending across Guatemala shows six Quaternary volcanoes and one large caldera. Beginning in the right foreground are three volcanoes, San Pedro, the conical Atitlán, and Tolimán, that are constructed on the southern shore of Lake Atitlán, which fills a large Pleistocene caldera. The three volcanoes in the distance are, from left to right, Agua, Acatenango, and Fuego. Tolimán-Atitlán and Acatenango-Fuego are paired volcanoes along N-S lines.

Copyrighted photo by Katia and Maurice Krafft, 1983.
The twin volcanoes of Acatenango (left) and Fuego rise in the center beyond Lake Atitlán, with the conical peak of Agua volcano to their left. Lake Atitlán fills the latest of three large calderas produced during the Pleistocene at Atitlán. A steam plume originates from the summit of Fuego, one of Guatemala's most active volcanoes.

Copyrighted photo by Katia and Maurice Krafft, 1983.
This photo looking SE across the volcanic chain of Guatemala shows Fuego volcano, lightly dusted with snow, in the foreground, and the symmetrical Agua volcano at the upper left. Twin-peaked Pacaya volcano is located behind the right flank of Agua, and the broad massif in the distance above the summit of Fuego is Tecuamburro volcano. Fuego and Pacaya are two of Guatemala's most active volcanoes.

Copyrighted photo by Katia and Maurice Krafft, 1983.
The symmetrical, forested Volcán de Agua stratovolcano forms a prominent backdrop to both the historic former capital city of Antigua Guatemala and Guatemala City, the present capital. The 3760-m-high Agua volcano has a small, circular crater that is breached on the NNE side. Agua has had no historical eruptions, but a devastating mudflow on September 11, 1541, destroyed the first Guatemalan capital city, now known as Ciudad Vieja. This view from the NW also shows the twin-peaked Pacaya volcano behind the upper right flank of Agua.

Copyrighted photo by Katia and Maurice Krafft, 1983.
The beautifully symmetrical Agua volcano forms a prominent backdrop to Guatemala City in the foreground. The twin volcanoes of Fuego (left) and Acatenango (right) appear to the right of Agua in this 1983 view from the NE. No historical eruptions are known of Agua volcano, despite its youthful profile.

Copyrighted photo by Katia and Maurice Krafft, 1983.
The forested summit of symmetrical Agua volcano appears in the foreground with the twin volcanoes of Fuego (left) and Acatenango (right) in the background. The three stratovolcanoes overlook the historical city of Antigua Guatemala, whose outskirts appear on the right. Agua has had no historical eruptions, in contrast to Acatenango and especially Fuego, which is one of the most active volcanoes of Guatemala. This 1983 aerial view is from the west.

Copyrighted photo by Katia and Maurice Krafft, 1983.
Volcán de Agua behind the historical colonial city of Antigua Guatemala and is one of three large volcanoes surrounding the town. The capital city of Guatemala was moved here following a catastrophic mudflow from Agua in 1541 that destroyed the former capital city, now known as Ciudad Vieja.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1988 (Smithsonian Institution).
Volcán de Agua towers above the town of Santa María de Jesús on its NE flank. A scarp on the upper north flank extending from the summit crater was the source of a major debris flow in 1541 that destroyed towns on the NW flank. This catastrophe was not accompanied by an eruption.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1988 (Smithsonian Institution).
Volcán de Agua (left) rises above the clouds west of Lake Amatitlán, located within the Amatitlán caldera. This 14 x 16 km Pleistocene caldera has produced many large explosive eruptions whose deposits underlie Guatemala City and surrounding areas. Pacaya volcano, out of view to the left, was constructed over the buried southern rim of Amatitlán caldera.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1988 (Smithsonian Institution).
Volcán de Agua rises above the city of Escuintla, which underlies a massive debris avalanche deposit from the Fuego-Acatenango massif, out of view to the left.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1988 (Smithsonian Institution).
Volcán de Agua towers above the Pacific coastal plain to its south. The foreground surface is part of the massive Escuintla debris avalanche deposit most likely produced by collapse of the Acatenango-Fuego massif out of view to the left.

Photo by Jim Vallance, 1989 (Michigan Technological University).
Volcán de Agua seen to the east above the ancient capital city of Ciudad Vieja. A lahar from Agua in 1541 CE destroyed this city, the first capital established by the Spanish. The catastrophe caused the capital city to be relocated to nearby Antigua Guatemala.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1988 (Smithsonian Institution).
Volcán de Agua, seen here from the NE, is the most prominent volcano visible from Guatemala City. Fuego volcano in the background has been much more active historically.

Photo by Mike Carr, 1967 (Rutgers University).
An explosion from MacKenney crater on Pacaya volcano ejects a dark, ash-rich column and individual blocks that are sometimes incandescent even during daylight hours. This December 1974 photo shows Fuego (left) and Acatenango (right) volcanoes in the background, behind the sloping flanks of Agua volcano.

Copyrighted photo by Katia and Maurice Krafft, 1974.
Volcán de Agua is seen here in an aerial view from the SE, with the town of Palín to the lower right along the highway between Guatemala City (just out of view to the right) and Escuintla.

Copyrighted photo by Stephen O'Meara, 1994.
Volcán de Agua is one of Guatemala's prominent stratovolcanoes. Seen here from the north, the breached summit crater is visible.

Copyrighted photo by Stephen O'Meara, 1993.
Thick units of the 84,000-year-old Los Chocoyos Ash are exposed south of Guatemala City, more than 100 km from its source at Atitlán caldera. Three units are visible here. The pinkish unit across the center of is the oxidized top of the pyroclastic flow deposit. The bottom two white units are the top and bottom halves of the deposit. The two fall deposits above the Los Chocoyos Ash are unit E from Amatitlán caldera and the younger unit C from Volcán de Agua.

Photo by Bill Rose, 1978 (Michigan Technological University).
Volcán de Agua is in the center of this photo and lava flows from MacKenney cone form the slope in the foreground. They have filled in the moat of the Pacaya caldera almost to the level of the lower Cerro Chino crater rim, with the communication antennas along the summit in the midground. The two volcanoes on the left horizon are Fuego (left), one of the most active in Guatemala, and Acatenango (right).

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
This view from Pacaya shows Fuego and Acatenango (left) and conical Volcán de Agua volcano (right). These impressive volcanoes all exceed 3.5 km in elevation and rise from near sea level on the Pacific coastal plain to the south. Volcanism at the Acatenango-Fuego pair has migrated southwards, and Fuego, its summit kept free of vegetation by frequent eruptions, is one of Guatemala's most active volcanoes.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
Steaming Pacaya volcano (lower right) lies across a valley from symmetrical Agua volcano (upper left). Pacaya was constructed near the southern margin of Amatitlán caldera, whose SE rim lies near the right-center margin. The 14 x 16 km wide caldera was formed during a series of major silicic explosive eruptions between about 300,000 and 23,000 years ago. The irregular margins of Lake Amatitlán are constrained on the SW side by post-caldera lava domes. The outskirts of Guatemala City lie at the upper right.

NASA Landsat image, 2000 (courtesy of Loren Siebert, University of Akron).
The historical city of Antigua Guatemala (top-right margin) is surrounded by three major stratovolcanoes in this Landsat view with north to the upper right. Dark-colored Acatenango volcano (upper left) and the unvegetated summit of Fuego volcano lie SW of the city, and Agua volcano (right-center) lies south. No historical eruptions from Agua are known, although mudflows in 1541 caused the abandonment of Ciudad Vieja, the previous capital city of Guatemala. Barrancas radiating SE from Fuego are light-colored from deposits of historical eruptions.

NASA Landsat image, 2000 (courtesy of Loren Siebert, University of Akron).
GVP Map Holdings

The maps shown below have been scanned from the GVP map archives and include the volcano on this page. Clicking on the small images will load the full 300 dpi map. Very small-scale maps (such as world maps) are not included. The maps database originated over 30 years ago, but was only recently updated and connected to our main database. We welcome users to tell us if they see incorrect information or other problems with the maps; please use the Contact GVP link at the bottom of the page to send us email.


Title: Carta Geolica de la Republica Mexicana
Publisher: Recursos Minerales and Institute de Gelogia
Country: Mexico
Year: 1992
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:2,000,000
Map of Carta Geolica de la Republica Mexicana

Title: Paso el Jobo
Publisher: IGN
Country: El Salvador
Year: 1986
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:50,000
Map of Paso el Jobo

Title: Carta Gravimetrica 1984 - 1985 Anomalias Bouguer Simple
Publisher: Instituto Geografico Nacional "Ingeniero Pablo Guzman"
Country: El Salvador
Year: 1986
Map Type: Geophysical (Gravity)
Scale: 1:300,000
Map of Carta Gravimetrica 1984 - 1985 Anomalias Bouguer Simple

Title: Bath of Gulf of Mexico & Caribbean Sea
Publisher: AAPG, Williams & Heintz Map Corp.
Country: US/ C.Am/ S.Am
Year: 1984
Map Type: Bathymetric
Scale: 1:3,289
Map of Bath of Gulf of Mexico & Caribbean Sea

Title: Mapa Oficial de La Republica de El Salvador
Publisher: Instituto Geografico Nacional "Ingeniero Pablo Guzman"
Country: El Salvador
Year: 1984
Map Type: Geographic
Scale: 1:200,000
Map of Mapa Oficial de La Republica de El Salvador

Title: Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico
Publisher: DMA Aerospace Center
Country: NW C Am (GU ES HO)
Year: 1982
Series: TPC
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:500,000
Map of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico

Title: Santa Ana
Publisher: BGR, West Germany
Country: El Salvador
Year: 1978
Series: El Salvador Geology
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:100,000
Map of Santa Ana

Title: Santa Ana
Publisher: IGN
Country: El Salvador
Year: 1974
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:100,000
Map of Santa Ana
Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

There are no samples for Agua in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

External Sites