In December 2015 – January 2016, I traveled to Guatemala with my Smithsonian advisor, Ben Andrews, to participate in an NSF-funded Workshops on Volcanoes at Santiaguito Volcano. We spent roughly three weeks hiking up and around the active Santiaguito lava domes, summiting the neighboring Santa Maria volcano, and exploring the active flow fronts from Santiaguito. Here are some photos (and a video!) from our adventures…
Our first adventure involved the principal scientists hiking down into the active Santiaguito lava domes for 3 days and 2 nights. We descended roughly 800m to the base of the domes, where our goal was to set up instrumentation to monitor activity at the active lava dome
(e.g., infrasound, seismic, capture imagery with drones and photogrammetry).
Our second adventure involved summiting the neighboring Santa Maria stratovolcano to get an excellent vantage point down to the active Santiaguito domes. We camped for multiple nights at the summit of Santa Maria while collecting data of the active lava dome.
The last adventure in Guatemala involved travel to two other active volcanoes – Pacaya and Fuego. These were two day trips where we summit Pacaya and saw some of the most recent lava flows that formed within the last few years. We also hiked Fuego volcano, stopped at a safe distance from the vent, and watched as the volcano erupted (see video below).