The symmetrical cone of San Miguel volcano, one of the most active in El Salvador, rises from near sea level to form one of the country's most prominent landmarks. The unvegetated summit rises above slopes draped with coffee plantations. A broad, deep crater complex that has been frequently modified by historical eruptions (recorded since the early 16th century) caps the truncated summit, also known locally as Chaparrastique. Radial fissures on the flanks of the basaltic-andesitic volcano have fed a series of historical lava flows, including several erupted during the 17th-19th centuries that reached beyond the base of the volcano on the N, NE, and SE sides. The SE-flank flows are the largest and form broad, sparsely vegetated lava fields crossed by highways and a railroad skirting the base of the volcano. The location of flank vents has migrated higher on the edifice during historical time, and the most recent activity has consisted of minor ash eruptions from the summit crater.
Symmetrical San Miguel volcano towers 2000 m above a barren basaltic lava flow erupted from a SE-flank vent in 1819. The conical volcano is not the highest volcano in El Salvador, but is one of the most prominent, since it rises from near sea level on the Pacific coastal plain. San Miguel (also known as Chaparrastique) is one of the most active volcanoes of El Salvador, with more than two dozen eruptions recorded since the beginning of the Spanish era.
Photo by Carlos Pullinger, 1996 (Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales, El Salvador).
Last updated 2019-12-15 21:00:03