Friday 23 May 2014

Volcanic activity on Chaparrastique provokes evacuations.

About 1400 people have been evacuated from villages near Chaparrastique, a 2141 m volcano in eastern El Salvador, following increased seismic activity in the past week. A series of Earthquakes over the weekend was followed by a small explosive eruption on Monday 19 May 2014, and the production of a small column of reddish ash.

Smoke over Mount Chaparrastique on Monday 19 May 2014. Ulises Rodriguez/Reuters.

El Salvador, and neighbouring Central American states, lies on the Caribbean Plate. To the south of Central America the Coccos Plate, which underlies an area of the east Pacific, is being subducted beneath the Caribbean Plate along the Middle American Trench. As the plate is subducted it is partially melted by the friction and the heat of the planet's interior, giving rise to liquid magma which rises through the Caribbean Plate to fuel the volcanoes of Central America.

The approximate location of Mount Chaparrastique. Google Maps.

See also...

 Thousands evacuated after eruption on Mount Chaparrastique, El Salvador.

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 Pyroclastic flow and ash column on Mount Fuego, Guatemala.

The Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia in Guatemala report a pyroclastic flow (avalanche of hot ash, rock and gas) on Mount Fuego, an active volcano in the south of...

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