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Chinameca

Photo of this volcano
  • El Salvador
  • México and Central America
  • Stratovolcano
  • Unknown - Evidence Credible
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 13.478°N
  • 88.33°W

  • 1300 m
    4265 ft

  • 343090
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Chinameca.

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

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

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

The Global Volcanism Program is not aware of any Holocene eruptions from Chinameca. If this volcano has had large eruptions (VEI >= 4) prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found on the Chinameca page in the LaMEVE (Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions) database, a part of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).

Deformation History

There is no Deformation History data available for Chinameca.

Emission History

There is no Emissions History data available for Chinameca.

Photo Gallery

Chinameca is a small stratovolcano with a roughly 2-km-wide summit caldera, is seen here from San Miguel volcano to its SE. The Holocene Cerro el Limbo cone (left) is on the western flank, and a Holocene lava flow extends to the north from a vent on the NNW flank. The small peak on the far-right flank is Cerro Partido.

Photo by Kristal Dorion, 1994 (U.S. Geological Survey).
This geothermal area known as Chinameca 4 is one of several surrounding the city of Chinameca. Temperatures of around 100°C have been recorded at the fumaroles of Ausoles la Volcancito, Ausoles el Boquerón, and Infiernillos de Chinameca. The high heat flow has made this area the object of geothermal exploration.

Photo courtesy of Comisión Ejecutiva Hidroeléctricia del Río Lempa (CEL).
Gases rise from fumaroles within hydrothermally altered rock on the Chinameca northern flank. Fumarole fields surround the city of Chinameca on several sides, within a few kilometers of the town.

Photo courtesy of Comisión Ejecutiva Hidroeléctricia del Río Lempa (CEL).
Chinameca volcano in the distance contains a 2-km-wide caldera, seen here from the north with the summit of San Miguel behind it to the left. A cluster of geothermal fields is located on the northern flank, surrounding the city of Chinameca.

Photo by Carlos Pullinger, 1996 (Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales, El Salvador).
Los Infiernillos Cantón las Meses geothermal area at Chinameca volcano features a cluster of mudpools. This is part of a series of geothermal fields surrounding the city of Chinameca.

Photo by Carlos Pullinger, 1994 (Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales, El Salvador).
The Chinameca volcanic complex is seen here from the west beyond the lower flank of Pleistocene El Tigre volcano. The lower peak at the right side of the Chinameca complex is Cerro el Limbo, a cone on the western flank of Chinameca caldera. The higher peak at the upper right is San Miguel volcano, which is separated by a low saddle from Chinameca.

Photo by Carlos Pullinger, 1994 (Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales, El Salvador).
Conical San Miguel volcano, one of El Salvador's most prominent landmarks, rises across a low saddle SE of Chinameca (Pacayal) volcano. The 2130-m-high San Miguel is seen here from Cerro el Limbo, a cone on the western flank of Chinameca. The southern side of Chinameca's 2-km-wide summit caldera is visible at the left.

Photo by Carlos Pullinger, 1996 (Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales, El Salvador).
Chinameca stratovolcano is seen here from the SE near the summit of neighboring San Miguel volcano. A 2-km-wide, steep-sided caldera, Laguna Seca el Pacayal (right-center), truncates the summit of Chinameca volcano. The Holocene cone of Cerro el Limbo (in the partial shade left of the caldera) on the western flank rises to a point above the level of the caldera rim. A group of fumarole fields is located on the north flank of the volcano near the town of Chinameca, and the volcano has been the site of a geothermal exploration program.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
Chinameca volcano, also known as El Pacayal, is seen here to the NW from the barren upper flanks of San Miguel volcano. Coffee plantations mantle the slopes of the 1300-m-high stratovolcano, which is truncated by a 2-km-wide caldera. The high point of the caldera, Cerro el Pacayal, lies on the western rim (left-center) and rises about 450 m above the caldera floor. The rounded peak of Cerro el Limbo at the left rises to above 1380 m, exceeding the height of the caldera rim.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
An E-W-trending chain of volcanoes extends about30 km across eastern El Salvador. The 2-km-wide Laguna Seca el Pacayal caldera is a prominent feature of Chinameca volcano. San Miguel is one of El Salvador's most active volcanoes; the dark area at the lower right is a lava flow from the 1819 eruption. The city of San Miguel is to the upper right.

NASA Space Shuttle image STS61C-31-47, 1986 (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/).
The 2.4-km-wide Laguna Seca el Pacayal is the caldera of Chinameca in the center of this December 2019 Planet Labs satellite image monthly mosaic (N is at the top). The smaller cone on the SW flank is Cerro el Limbo with a summit reaching above the caldera rim.

Satellite image courtesy of Planet Labs Inc., 2019 (https://www.planet.com/).
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: Mapa Geologico Minero de La Republica de Nicaragua
Publisher: INETER, Instituto Nicaraguense de Estudios Terriroriales
Country: Nicaragua
Year: 1995
Series: Mapa geologico
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:500,000
Map of Mapa Geologico Minero de La Republica de Nicaragua

Title: Mapa Geologico Minero de La Republica de Nicaragua
Publisher: INETER, Instituto Nicaraguense de Estudios Terriroriales
Country: Nicaragua
Year: 1995
Series: Mapa geologico
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:500,000
Map of Mapa Geologico Minero de La Republica de Nicaragua

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: 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
Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

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

External Sites