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A Family Photo of Volcanoes, El Salvador

Posted by feww on April 26, 2010

Stratovolcanoes near Usulután, El Salvador


(L to R) Usulután: Formed during Holocene (an ongoing geological epoch that began about 12,000 years ago).  El Tigre formed during the Pleistocene Epoch (2.588 million to about 12,000 years ago), probably the oldest of member of the family captured in this astronaut photograph. The summit crater of El Tigre has eroded. Chinameca Volcano (also known as El Pacayal) has a two-kilometer-wide caldera formed after a powerful eruption caused its dome to collapse. San Miguel (also known as Chaparrastique), the youngest member of the family, is  situated about 15 km southwest of the city of San Miguel, where it takes its name from. It’s  one of the most active volcanoes in el Salvador and last erupted in 2002.  (Source of Photo: NASA. Astronaut photograph ISS023-E-22411 was acquired on March 31, 2010).

Terrestrial photos [click images to enlarge]


Usulután volcano rises above the Pacific coastal plain at the SE end of a cluster of stratovolcanoes between San Vicente and San Miguel volcanoes. The flanks of the forested Usulután volcano are dissected, but youthful lava flows are present on its southern flanks. The younger summit rocks of 1449-m-high Usulután and Cerro Nanzal pyroclastic cone on the lower SE flank were mapped as Holocene (Weber and Wiesemann, 1978). A broad 1.3-km-wide crater is breached to the east from the summit of Usulután to its lower flank. Several large erosional craters cut the flanks of Usulután, including the valley seen in this view cutting the SW flank. The rounded peak at the left is the young cone of Cerro Oromontique on the margin of El Tigre volcano. Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution). Caption Global Volcanism Program (GVP).


The dissected Pleistocene volcano El Tigre is seen here from the NW on the flanks of Tecapa volcano with the town of Santiago de María at the left center. Two Holocene cones, symmetrical Cerro Oromontique in the center of the photo and Cerro la Manita, the small peak on the right horizon, were erupted along a NW-SE-trending fissure cutting the flanks of El Tigre volcano. Photo by Kristal Dorion, 1994 (U.S. Geological Survey). Caption: GVP.


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). Caption: GVP.


Symmetrical San Miguel volcano towers 2000 m above a barren basaltic lava flow erupted from a SE-flank vent in 1819. The conical volcano is not the highest volcano in El Salvador, but is one of the most prominent, since it rises from near sea level on the Pacific coastal plain. San Miguel (also known as Chaparrastique) is one of the most active volcanoes of El Salvador, with more than two dozen eruptions recorded since the beginning of the Spanish era.  Photo by Carlos Pullinger, 1996 (Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales, El Salvador). Caption: GVP

For more info on the above volcanoes see: Volcanoes of México and Central America

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2 Responses to “A Family Photo of Volcanoes, El Salvador”

  1. vanessa said

    que bonito

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