Exploring Tourism in Guatemala
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Santa Maria Volcano

Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

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.

The dome growth has been both 'exogenous and endogenous. 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. There are three other domes - El Brujo, El Mitad and El Monje.

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. Occasional rockfalls have generated smaller pyroclastic flows, and vertical eruptions of ash to heights of a few kilometres above the dome are common.

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