Santiaguito, Guatemala

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).

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It was sunset by the time we made it down to the domes. The mountain ahead is El Brujo, one of the four domes that make up the Santiaguito dome complex.

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The next day, some of us hiked up El Brujo to get a view to the West of the active Caliente dome. We were lucky enough to see multiple explosions from the dome, one of which is pictured here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As part of our adventure in the domes, a few of us hiked up between Santa Maria volcano and La Mitad dome (one of the four domes that makes up Santiaguito dome complex) to get another view of the active Caliente dome. Here I am standing on rocks, some of which were recently erupted from Caliente and others that were deposited via lahars (volcanic mudflows).

 

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.

View from Santa Maria volcano down to the active Santiaguito Dome Complex

View from Santa Maria volcano down to the active Santiaguito Dome Complex

Standing on the summit of Santa Maria during an explosion from Caliente dome

Standing on the summit of Santa Maria during an explosion from Caliente dome

 

 

 

 

 

View down to Santiaguito

View down to Santiaguito

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).

Hiking to the summit of the active Pacaya volcano

Hiking to the summit of the active Pacaya volcano

View of the active Fuego volcano

View of the active Fuego volcano

 

 

 

 

 

Close to the summit of Fuego Volcano

Close to the summit of Fuego Volcano

 

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