Tacaná Volcano | John Seach


Mexico/Guatemala border

15.13 N, 92.11 W
summit elevation 4110 m

Tacana volcano consists of a broad symmetrical cone with a diameter of 10 km at the base. It is located near the boundary between the North American and Caribbean Tectonic Plates. The main summit consists of an 80 m high andesitic dome, located inside an eroded 600-m wide crater.

A Peléan type eruption occurred at San Antonio dome 1,950 years ago, and is the last significant magmatic event at Tacaná volcano.

Historic activity of Tacaná has consisted of phreatic explosions (1855, 1878, 1949–1950 and 1986), which occurred at Tacaná and San Antonio domes.

Tacaná volcano currently has an active volcano–hydrothermal system with fumarolic activity (89°C) at 3,600 m altitude, and thermal springs at the base of the volcano (1,500–2,000 m altitude). Fumarolic activity is located in two 15 m diameter explosion craters. The summit dome does not contain fumaroles.

1986 Eruption
In May 1986, a seismic swarm was followed by a small phreatic explosion at an elevation of 3,600 m on the northwest flank of the volcano. This eruption reactivated fumarolic activity at Tacana.

Further reading
Macías, J.L., Arce, J.L., Capra, L., Saucedo, R. and Sánchez-Núñez, J.M., 2018. Late Formative flooding of Izapa after an eruption of Tacaná volcano. Ancient Mesoamerica29(2), pp.361-371.

García-Palomo, A., Macías, J.L., Arce, J.L., Mora, J.C., Hughes, S., Saucedo, R., Espíndola, J.M., Escobar, R. and Layer, P., 2006. Geological evolution of the Tacaná Volcanic Complex, México-Guatemala. Spec. Pap. Geol. Soc. Am412, pp.39-57.

Macias, J.L., Espíndola, J.M., Garcia-Palomo, A., Scott, K.M., Hughes, S. and Mora, J.C., 2000. Late Holocene Peléan-style eruption at Tacaná volcano, Mexico and Guatemala: Past, present, and future hazards. Geological Society of America Bulletin112(8), pp.1234-1249.

Tacaná Volcano Eruptions

1986, 1949-50, 1878, 1855