Tolimán

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  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 14.612°N
  • 91.189°W

  • 3158 m
    10358 ft

  • 342070
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

23 April-29 April 2003

A landslide on the outer flanks of Tolimán volcano passed through and buried portions of a mountain village at 0418 on 23 April. Regional authorities blamed steep slopes, wet soils, and minor tremors. The disaster struck the village of Chichicaste, which lies along the volcanic front ~300 km W of the capital, Guatemala City. Tolimán and the area stricken sit on the S side of Lake Atitlán, the 18 x 12 km lake filling the depression of Guatemala's famous Atitlán caldera.

As of the afternoon of 23 April, the Guatemalan agency CONRED reported 200 people evacuated, 20 missing, and 6 confirmed dead. Known damage to infrastructure included 40 homes at risk, another 12 with severe damage, and 6 destroyed. The village and environs had been specifically mentioned as vulnerable to landslide hazards in a government report issued in September 2002 following a similar disaster then. Mudslides in highland areas are common during the wet season, an interval that often occurs during late March through September.

Sources: Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres (CONRED), Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)



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2003: April


23 April-29 April 2003

A landslide on the outer flanks of Tolimán volcano passed through and buried portions of a mountain village at 0418 on 23 April. Regional authorities blamed steep slopes, wet soils, and minor tremors. The disaster struck the village of Chichicaste, which lies along the volcanic front ~300 km W of the capital, Guatemala City. Tolimán and the area stricken sit on the S side of Lake Atitlán, the 18 x 12 km lake filling the depression of Guatemala's famous Atitlán caldera.

As of the afternoon of 23 April, the Guatemalan agency CONRED reported 200 people evacuated, 20 missing, and 6 confirmed dead. Known damage to infrastructure included 40 homes at risk, another 12 with severe damage, and 6 destroyed. The village and environs had been specifically mentioned as vulnerable to landslide hazards in a government report issued in September 2002 following a similar disaster then. Mudslides in highland areas are common during the wet season, an interval that often occurs during late March through September.

Sources: Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres (CONRED), Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)


There are no Holocene eruptions known for Tolimán. If this volcano has had large eruptions prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found in the LaMEVE (Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions) database, a part of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).

The following references are the sources used for data regarding this volcano. References are linked directly to our volcano data file. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title. Additional discussion of data sources can be found under Volcano Data Criteria.

Carr M J, 1984. Symmetrical and segmented variation of physical and geochemical characterisitics of the Central American volcanic front. J Volc Geotherm Res, 20: 231-252.

Halsor S, Rose W I, 1991. Mineralogical relations and magma mixing in calc-alkaline andesites from Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Mineral Petr, 45: 47-67.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Mooser F, Meyer-Abich H, McBirney A R, 1958. Central America. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 6: 1-146.

Newhall C G, 1987. Geology of the Lake Atitlan region, western Guatemala. J Volc Geotherm Res, 33: 23-55.

Newhall C G, Paull C K, Bradbury J P, Higuera-Gundy A, Poppe L J, Self S, Bonar Sharpless N, Ziagos J, 1987. Recent geologic history of Lake Atitlan, a caldera lake in western Guatemala. J Volc Geotherm Res, 33: 81-107.

Penfield G T, Rose W I, Halsor S, 1986. Geology of the Lake Atitlan volcanoes. Geol Soc Amer Map and Chart Ser, 55 1:49,212 scale map.

Rose W I, Penfield G T, Drexler J W, Larson P B, 1980. Geochemistry of the andesite flank lavas of three composite cones within the Atitlan Cauldron, Guatemala. Bull Volc, 43: 131-154.

Sapper K, 1925. The Volcanoes of Central America. Halle: Verlag Max Niemeyer, 144 p.

Volcán Tolimán is a large andesitic stratovolcano that rises above the south shore of Lake Atitlán. Tolimán was constructed within the Pleistocene Atitlán III caldera, near its inferred southern margin. A shallow elliptical crater truncates the summit, and a minor subsidiary peak to the SSW also has a shallow crater. In contrast to the tephra-covered surface of its twin volcano to the south, Volcán Atitlán, the surface of Tolimán is draped by prominent thick lava flows. Many of the flows were erupted from vents on the volcano's flanks and form a highly irregular shoreline on the south side of Lake Atitlán. No historical eruptions are known from Tolimán. However, a lava flow that entered Lake Atitlán from the parasitic lava dome of Cerro de Oro on the northern flank was considered by Newhall et al. (1987) to be less than a few thousand years old based on the thickness of sediment accumulated on the sublacustral part of the flow.