Santiaguito is the name of the dome complex that grew inside the collapse scar left by the catastrophic eruption and partial collapse of Santa María stratovolcano in 1902. Its currently active dome is called Caliente (the “hot one”).
Symmetrical, forest-covered Santa María volcano is one of the most prominent of a chain of large volcanoes that rises dramatically above the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala.
Santa Maria erupted catastrophically in 1902 destroying its former summit.
Santa Maria is a popular excursion destination and the summit offers spectacular views onto erupting Santiaguito.
The 3772-m-high stratovolcano has a sharp-topped, conical profile that is cut on the SW flank by a large, 1.5-km-wide crater. The oval-shaped crater extends from just below the summit of Volcán Santa María to the lower flank and was formed during a catastrophic eruption in 1902.
The renowned plinian eruption of 1902 that devastated much of SW Guatemala followed a long repose period after construction of the large basaltic-andesite stratovolcano. The massive dacitic Santiaguito lava-dome complex has been growing at the base of the 1902 crater since 1922.
Compound dome growth at Santiaguito has occurred episodically from four westward-younging vents, the most recent of which is Caliente. Dome growth has been accompanied by almost continuous minor explosions, with periodic lava extrusion, larger explosions, pyroclastic flows, and lahars