Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

S Pacaya (Guatemala): During our visit at the volcano this morning, the first direct observation of the crater was possible following a period of 5 days of bad weather. When we climbed the crater rim, we observed violent, continuous lava spattering from the central vent on an intra-crater cinder cone inside Mackenney crater. Activity was fairly regular in intensity, but went through alternating periods of stronger and weaker overall strength, lasting 10-20 minutes each. During the strongest phases, some stronger spattering events, resembling strombolian explosions (except that this activity was continuous), lava bombs were ejected to heights of 150-200 m, i.e. well above the crater rim, but mostly fell back inside. Only few fresh (days to few weeks old) bombs were seen on or near the (eastern) crater rim. Around the main vent at the bottom of the the approx. 100 m deep crater, a small intra-crater cinder cone, about 15 m tall, has formed, obviously containing a small boiling lava lake in its main vent. A small secondary vent is located at the eastern side of the cone and also showed spattering occasionally, mainly during phases of elevated activity at the main vent. Parts of the crater floor have been covered by presumably fresh lava flows.

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