The San Cristóbal volcanic complex, consisting of five principal volcanic edifices, forms the NW end of the Marrabios Range. The symmetrical 1745-m-high youngest cone, named San Cristóbal (also known as El Viejo), is Nicaragua's highest volcano and is capped by a 500 x 600 m wide crater. El Chonco, with several flank lava domes, is located 4 km W of San Cristóbal; it and the eroded Moyotepe volcano, 4 km NE of San Cristóbal, are of Pleistocene age. Volcán Casita, containing an elongated summit crater, lies immediately east of San Cristóbal and was the site of a catastrophic landslide and lahar in 1998. The Plio-Pleistocene La Pelona caldera is located at the eastern end of the complex. Historical eruptions from San Cristóbal, consisting of small-to-moderate explosive activity, have been reported since the 16th century. Some other 16th-century eruptions attributed to Casita volcano are uncertain and may pertain to other Marrabios Range volcanoes.
The San Cristóbal volcanic complex consists of five principal edifices. The youngest cone, the namesake San Cristóbal, seen here from the south, is the highest peak of the Marrabios Range. Several radial flank craters occur along a N-S line on the outer north flank of 1745-m-high San Cristóbal. Historical activity, consisting of small-to-moderate explosive eruptions, has been reported since the 16th century. The SW crater rim (left) rises 140 m above the NE rim because prevailing trade winds distribute tephra to the SW.
Photo by Jaime Incer.
Last updated 2019-12-13 18:30:03