Increased eruptive activity continues at Pacaya volcano, dense ash columns reported, Guatemala

pacaya-volcano-eruption-guatemala-march-16-2021

Increased eruptive activity continues at Guatemala's Pacaya volcano with dense, dark ash columns, indicating that magma is pushing its way toward the surface. The volcano has been erupting since early February, posing risk to the surrounding communities.

In a bulletin posted by INSIVUMEH on Monday, March 15, the institute reported that ash columns reached up to 2 000 m (6 600 miles), and drifted W and NW. However, atmospheric conditions did not allow for direct observations of the crater.

The effusive activity continues to feed the lava flow on the southern flank, which was about 1 500 m (4 900 feet) long on Monday and up to 1 800 m (5 900 feet) on Tuesday. The dark ash columns are indicators that magma is rising towards the surface.

Weak ashfall was reported early Tuesday morning (LT) in the village of El Patrocinio. At the time, it was still not possible to directly observe the volcano due to clouds.

INSIVUMEH seismic stations constantly register tremors associated with the rise of magma, as well as the continuous degassing at the crater.

"It is not ruled out that more lava flows are generated in other flanks or the generation of degassing columns with abundant ash," the agency wrote.

Eruptive activity has been ongoing at Pacaya since early February, making nearby residents uneasy in fears of tremors and volcanic eruptions.

pacaya-volcano-march-15-2021pacaya-volcano-march-15-2021-2

pacaya-volcano-march-15-2021-3

Image credit: INSIVUMEH

Geological summary

Eruptions from Pacaya, one of Guatemala's most active volcanoes, are frequently visible from Guatemala City, the nation's capital. This complex basaltic volcano was constructed just outside the southern topographic rim of the 14 x 16 km (8.7 x 9.9 miles) Pleistocene Amatitlán caldera. A cluster of dacitic lava domes occupies the southern caldera floor.

The post-caldera Pacaya massif includes the ancestral Pacaya Viejo and Cerro Grande stratovolcanoes and the currently active Mackenney stratovolcano.

The collapse of Pacaya Viejo between 600 and 1 500 years ago produced a debris-avalanche deposit that extends 25 km (15 miles) onto the Pacific coastal plain and left an arcuate somma rim inside which the modern Pacaya volcano (Mackenney cone) grew.

A subsidiary crater, Cerro Chino, was constructed on the NW somma rim and was last active in the 19th century.

During the past several decades, activity has consisted of frequent strombolian eruptions with intermittent lava flow extrusion that has partially filled in the caldera moat and armored the flanks of Mackenney cone, punctuated by occasional larger explosive eruptions that partially destroy the summit of the growing young stratovolcano. (GVP)

Featured image credit: INSIVUMEH

If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.

Share:

Related articles



Your support makes a difference

Dear valued reader,

We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.

The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.

If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.

Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum. Other support options include Patreon pledges and sending us a one-off payment using PayPal.

Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Teo Blašković

$5 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$50 /year

$10 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$100 /year

$25 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$200 /year

You can also support us on Patreon

support us on patreon

or by sending us a one-off payment using PayPal:


Commenting rules and guidelines

We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules:

  • Treat others with kindness and respect.
  • Stay on topic and contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way.
  • Do not use abusive or hateful language.
  • Do not spam or promote unrelated products or services.
  • Do not post any personal information or content that is illegal, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate.

We reserve the right to remove any comments that violate these rules. By commenting on our website, you agree to abide by these guidelines. Thank you for helping to create a positive and welcoming environment for all.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *