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1
Santa maria volcano
Santa maria volcano
::2008/03/25::
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2
Climbing Vulcano "Santa Maria" near Xela
Climbing Vulcano "Santa Maria" near Xela
::2011/04/28::
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3
Santa Maria Volcano Hike - Guatemala
Santa Maria Volcano Hike - Guatemala
::2013/06/22::
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4
Major eruption at Santa Maria volcano
Major eruption at Santa Maria volcano
::2013/08/25::
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5
Santa María Volcano Workout  -- The BarQuetz
Santa María Volcano Workout -- The BarQuetz
::2013/12/11::
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6
Guatemala 2010: Santa Maria volcano (Santiaguito Dome)
Guatemala 2010: Santa Maria volcano (Santiaguito Dome)
::2010/04/17::
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7
Santa Maria Volcano Guatemala
Santa Maria Volcano Guatemala
::2013/01/04::
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8
Atitlan Adventures Sunrise on Santa Maria Volcano
Atitlan Adventures Sunrise on Santa Maria Volcano
::2011/06/30::
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9
Lever de soleil, Santa Maria Volcano, Guatemala
Lever de soleil, Santa Maria Volcano, Guatemala
::2011/01/17::
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10
Santa Maria Volcano- large file
Santa Maria Volcano- large file
::2010/04/29::
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11
"Volcanos Melt Me Down" Aliciatravels
"Volcanos Melt Me Down" Aliciatravels's photos around Santa Maria Volcano, Guatemala (slideshow)
::2011/02/24::
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12
Albergue Santa Maria Volcano Lodge
Albergue Santa Maria Volcano Lodge
::2012/08/07::
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13
Santa Maria Volcano- small file
Santa Maria Volcano- small file
::2010/04/29::
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14
Volcán Santiaquito from the summit of Volcán Santa María, Guatemala
Volcán Santiaquito from the summit of Volcán Santa María, Guatemala
::2009/04/20::
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15
Video (1)  Amanecer en Santa María Volcán de  Quetzaltenango  Guatemala  cesarcalel@gmail.com
Video (1) Amanecer en Santa María Volcán de Quetzaltenango Guatemala cesarcalel@gmail.com
::2013/03/01::
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16
Santiaguito Volcano Eruption.  Santa Maria complex.
Santiaguito Volcano Eruption. Santa Maria complex.
::2008/01/16::
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17
Santa Maria / Santiaguito Volcano, Guatemala - morning view
Santa Maria / Santiaguito Volcano, Guatemala - morning view
::2009/10/09::
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18
El Palmar Quetzaltenango Erupción del volcán Santa María 1902.
El Palmar Quetzaltenango Erupción del volcán Santa María 1902.
::2010/10/14::
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19
Guetemala - Volcano Santa Maria - Santiaguito
Guetemala - Volcano Santa Maria - Santiaguito
::2011/11/23::
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20
Volcan Santa Maria, Guatemala
Volcan Santa Maria, Guatemala
::2013/01/11::
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21
Volcan Santa Maria, Xela...
Volcan Santa Maria, Xela...
::2012/09/12::
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22
Explosión del Volcán Santiaguito - Volcano Explosion
Explosión del Volcán Santiaguito - Volcano Explosion
::2007/03/12::
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23
Erupcion del volcan Santiaguito - Eruption of the Santiaguito volcano
Erupcion del volcan Santiaguito - Eruption of the Santiaguito volcano
::2010/04/27::
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24
Forward Travels Episode 36 - Hiking Volcano Santa Maria
Forward Travels Episode 36 - Hiking Volcano Santa Maria
::2014/03/03::
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25
Xela -  Volcano Santa Maria
Xela - Volcano Santa Maria
::2009/07/26::
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26
Santiaguito Volcano: Explosions, Earthquakes, and Rockfalls
Santiaguito Volcano: Explosions, Earthquakes, and Rockfalls
::2012/11/22::
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27
The summit of Volcan Santa Maria in Guatemala
The summit of Volcan Santa Maria in Guatemala
::2012/07/08::
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28
Vista desde el pico del volcan santa Maria de Quetzaltenango
Vista desde el pico del volcan santa Maria de Quetzaltenango
::2013/07/13::
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29
Volcano Santa Maria
Volcano Santa Maria
::2008/09/22::
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30
Luke Tyburski on top of Volcano Santa Maria
Luke Tyburski on top of Volcano Santa Maria
::2011/11/19::
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31
View from volcano Santa maria
View from volcano Santa maria
::2007/10/08::
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32
View from volcano Santa maria.
View from volcano Santa maria.
::2007/10/08::
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33
guatemala volcan santa maria
guatemala volcan santa maria
::2012/01/07::
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34
Volcan Santa Maria
Volcan Santa Maria
::2014/02/04::
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35
Volcán Santa Maria Antigua Guatemala
Volcán Santa Maria Antigua Guatemala
::2012/12/22::
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36
Volcán Santa María, excursión febrero 2010
Volcán Santa María, excursión febrero 2010
::2010/02/26::
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37
Volcanic Eruption - Santiaguito volcano, Guatemala
Volcanic Eruption - Santiaguito volcano, Guatemala
::2009/01/04::
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38
Morning on the Volcano [Day 80]
Morning on the Volcano [Day 80]
::2010/12/21::
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39
The view of Xela and Volcano Santa Maria
The view of Xela and Volcano Santa Maria
::2012/04/06::
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40
Religious Ceremony on Top of a Volcano [Day 79]
Religious Ceremony on Top of a Volcano [Day 79]
::2010/12/28::
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41
Volcano Eruption in Guatemala
Volcano Eruption in Guatemala
::2012/11/09::
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42
amanecer volcan santa maria
amanecer volcan santa maria
::2011/12/01::
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43
llegando a la cima del volcán Santa María
llegando a la cima del volcán Santa María
::2012/01/27::
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44
Volcán Santa María Guatemala
Volcán Santa María Guatemala
::2010/11/27::
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45
volcán Santa Maria - limpieza 1ra parte
volcán Santa Maria - limpieza 1ra parte
::2010/03/18::
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46
2009 02 Volcán Santa María
2009 02 Volcán Santa María
::2013/07/28::
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47
Crazy Beam From south of Santa Maria@ Orcutt Ca to the the Davidson Seamount undersea Volcano area
Crazy Beam From south of Santa Maria@ Orcutt Ca to the the Davidson Seamount undersea Volcano area
::2011/07/08::
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48
Volcán Santa Maria religious ceremony
Volcán Santa Maria religious ceremony
::2011/03/20::
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49
Volcán Santa María
Volcán Santa María
::2010/03/12::
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Volcan Santiaguito Erupting - View From Volcan Santa Maria
Volcan Santiaguito Erupting - View From Volcan Santa Maria
::2010/02/10::
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Santa María, Santiaguito
Santiaguito from Santamaria.jpg
Santiaguito side cone from the summit of Santa María
Elevation 3,772 m (12,375 ft)
Location
Santa María, Santiaguito is located in Guatemala
Santa María, Santiaguito
Santa María, Santiaguito
Guatemala
Location Quetzaltenango Department, Guatemala
Range Sierra Madre
Coordinates 14°45′21.6″N 91°33′07.2″W / 14.756000°N 91.552000°W / 14.756000; -91.552000Coordinates: 14°45′21.6″N 91°33′07.2″W / 14.756000°N 91.552000°W / 14.756000; -91.552000
Geology
Type Stratovolcano
Volcanic arc/belt Central America Volcanic Arc
Last eruption 1922 to present

Santa María Volcano is a large active volcano in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, close to the city of Quetzaltenango. Prior to the Spanish Conquest it was called Gagxanul (or Q'aq' Ixkanul[citation needed]) in the local K'iche' language.[1] Its eruption in 1902 (VEI 6) was one of the four largest eruptions of the 20th century, after the 1912 Novarupta and 1991 Pinatubo eruptions. It is also one of the five biggest eruptions of the past 200 (and probably 300) years.[2]

Geological history[edit]

Santa María is part of the Sierra Madre range of volcanoes, which extends along the western edge of Guatemala, separated from the Pacific Ocean by a broad plain. The volcanoes are formed by the subduction of the Cocos Plate under the Caribbean Plate, which led to the formation of the Central America Volcanic Arc.

Eruptions at Santa María are estimated to have begun about 30,000 years ago. For several thousand years, eruptions seem to have been small and frequent, building up the large cone of the volcano, reaching about 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) above the plain on which the nearby city of Quetzaltenango sits. Following the cone-building eruptions, activity seems to have changed to a pattern of long periods of repose followed by the emission of small lava flows from vents on the flanks. The cone built by the eruptions had a volume of about 10 cubic kilometres (2.4 cu mi), and consisted of a mixture of basalt and andesite lavas.

1902 eruption[edit]

Steam rises from Santiaguito. The area of the flank destroyed by the 1902 eruption can be clearly seen. Lahar deposits snake down river valleys to the left of the image
Santa María, 1902 eruption
The volcano as seen from the nearby city of Quetzaltenango

The first eruption of Santa María in the recorded history occurred in October 1902. Before 1902 the volcano had been dormant for at least 500 years and possibly several thousand years, but its awakening was clearly indicated by a seismic swarm in the region starting in January 1902, which included a major earthquake in April 1902. The eruption began on 24 October, and the largest explosions occurred over the following two days, ejecting an estimated 5.5 cubic kilometres (1.3 cu mi) of magma. The eruption was one of the largest of the 20th century, only slightly less in magnitude to that of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. The eruption had a VEI of 6, thus being 'Colossal'.[3]

The pumice formed in the climactic eruption fell over an area of about 273,000 square kilometres (105,000 sq mi), and volcanic ash was detected as far away as San Francisco, 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi) away. The eruption tore away much of the south-western flank of the volcano, leaving a crater about 1 kilometre (0.6 mi) in diameter and about 300 metres (980 ft) deep, stretching from just below the summit to an elevation of about 2,300 metres (7,500 ft). The first evidence of the eruption was a sprinkling of sand Quezaltenango, the wind then changed from the South to East and ashes began to fall at Helvetia, a coffee plantation six miles to the South-West.[4]

Because of the lack[5] of previous Holocene activity at Santa María, local people did not recognise the preceding seismicity as warning signs of an eruption. At least 5,000 people died as a result of the eruption itself, and a subsequent outbreak of malaria killed many more.

Santiaguito[edit]

Santiaguito, 2003 eruption

The 1902 eruption was followed by 20 years of dormancy. In 1922, new eruptions began, with the extrusion of a lava dome in the crater left by the 1902 eruption. The lava dome was dacitic in composition[6]

These dome growth types are described by volcanologists as exogenous and endogenous respectively. Activity has been concentrated at several different vents, and Santiaguito now has the appearance of several overlapping domes. The currently active vent is El Caliente.[7] There are three other domes - El Brujo, El Mitad and El Monje.[8]

Although most of Santiaguito's eruptive activity has been relatively gentle, occasional larger explosions have occurred. In 1929, part of the dome collapsed, generating pyroclastic flows which killed anywhere from several hundred up to 5,000 people.[9] Occasional rockfalls have generated smaller pyroclastic flows, and vertical eruptions of ash to heights of a few kilometres above the dome are common.

Volcanic hazards at Santa María[edit]

The areas to the south of Santa María are considerably affected by volcanic activity at Santiaguito. Currently, the most common volcanic hazards at Santa María are lahars, which frequently occur in the rainy season due to heavy rainfall on loose volcanic deposits. The town of El Palmar, 10 kilometres (6 mi) from Santiaguito, has been destroyed twice by lahars from Santiaguito forcing the town to be moved to the present Nuevo El Palmar, and infrastructure such as roads and bridges have been repeatedly damaged. Lahar deposits from Santiaguito have affected rivers all the way downstream to the Pacific Ocean.

A hot lahar rushes down a river valley near El Palmar in 1989

Lava flows do not occur frequently from Santiaguito, and tend to stretch no more than a few kilometres from the dome. The magma at Santiaguito is rich in silica and is thus highly viscous. Lava flows are therefore slow-moving and are of little danger to human life, although property damage may occur. Fast-moving pyroclastic flows can occur, and these may travel several kilometres from the dome.

One hazard which could be devastating is the collapse of Santa María itself. The 1902 crater has left the southern flank of the mountain above Santiaguito highly over-steepened, and a large earthquake or eruption from Santiaguito could trigger a huge landslide, which might cover up to 100 square kilometres (39 sq mi). However, this is thought to be unlikely in the short term.

In light of the threat it poses to nearby populations, Santa María has been designated a Decade Volcano, identifying it as a target for particular study by volcanologists to mitigate any future natural disasters at the volcano.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
Bibliography
  • Bunzendahl, E.; Bluth, G. J.; Rose, W. I.; Reif, S. L.; Matias, O. (2001), Developing a Long-term Hazard Mitigation Plan for Consequent Volcanic Sedimentation Hazards at Santiaguito Dome Complex, Guatemala, American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2001, abstract #V41A-0974
  • Harris, A. J.; Flynn, L. P.; Rose, W. I.; Matias, O.; Cornejo, J. (2002), The extrusion of lava dome and block lava flow units at Santiaguito, 1922-2002, American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2002, abstract #V12A-1399
  • Recinos, Adrian (1986). Pedro de Alvarado: Conquistador de México y Guatemala (2nd ed.). Guatemala: CENALTEX Centro Nacional de Libros de Texto y Material Didáctico "José de Pineda Ibarra". OCLC 243309954.  (Spanish)
  • Sapper, K.; F. Termer (1930). "Der Ausbruch des Vulkans Santa María in Guatemala vom 2–4 November 1929". Zeitschrift fur Vulkanologie 13 (73). 

External links[edit]

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