Chinameca

Photo of this volcano
Google Earth icon
  Google Earth Placemark
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 13.478°N
  • 88.33°W

  • 1300 m
    4264 ft

  • 343090
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Chinameca.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Chinameca.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Chinameca.

The small stratovolcano of Chinameca (also known as El Pacayal) is dwarfed by its towering neighbor San Miguel, which lies across a low saddle to the SE. A 2-km-wide, steep-sided caldera, Laguna Seca el Pacayal, truncates the 1300-m-high summit of Chinameca volcano, whose flanks are draped with coffee plantations. The Holocene cone of Cerro el Limbo on the western flank rises to 1380 m, above the level of the caldera rim, and a Holocene lava flow extends from a NNW-flank vent into the lowlands to the north beyond the town of Chinameca (Weber and Weisemann, 1978). A group of fumarole fields is located on the north flank of the volcano surrounds the city of Chinameca, and the volcano has been the site of a geothermal exploration program.

The Global Volcanism Program is not aware of any Holocene eruptions from Chinameca. If this volcano has had large eruptions (VEI >= 4) prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found on the Chinameca page in the LaMEVE (Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions) database, a part of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.


Synonyms

Pacayal, El

Cones

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Limbo, Cerro el Pyroclastic cone 1380 m 13° 28' 26" N 88° 20' 17" W

Craters

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Pacayal, Laguna Seca el Crater 1300 m 13° 28' 30" N 88° 19' 1" W

Thermal

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Boquerón, Ausoles el Thermal 720 m 13° 31' 0" N 88° 21' 43" W
Infiernillos de Chinameca Thermal 700 m 13° 30' 4" N 88° 19' 41" W
Volcancito, Ausoles del
    Viejona, Ausoles la
Thermal 600 m 13° 31' 0" N 88° 21' 43" W
Chinameca is a small stratovolcano with a 2-km-wide, steep-sided summit caldera. It is seen here from the flanks of San Miguel volcano to its SE. The Holocene cone of Cerro el Limbo (left-center) on the western flank rises above the caldera rim, and a Holocene lava flow extends to the north from a NNW-flank vent. The low peak on the far right above the foreground trees is Cerro Partido (also known as El Chimarrón).

Photo by Kristal Dorion, 1994 (U.S. Geological Survey).
A fumarolic area known as Chinameca 4 is one of several surrounding the city of Chinameca. Temperatures of around 100 degrees Centigrade have been recorded at the fumaroles of Ausoles la Viejona, Ausoles el Boquerón, and Infiernillos de Chinameca. The high heat flow has made this area the object of geothermal exploration.

Photo courtesy of Comisión Ejecutiva Hidroeléctricia del Río Lempa (CEL).
Steam rises from fumaroles in an area of hydrothermally altered rock on the northern flank of Chinameca volcano. Fumarole fields surround the city of Chinameca on several sides within a few kilometers of the town. A geothermal potential of 5-55 MW has been identified at Chinameca.

Photo courtesy of Comisión Ejecutiva Hidroeléctricia del Río Lempa (CEL).
Flat-lying Chinameca volcano on the center horizon is truncated by a 2-km-wide caldera. The volcano is seen here from the north, with the summit of San Miguel volcano behind it on the left. A cluster of fumarole fields is located on the northern flank of the volcano surrounding the city of Chinameca.

Photo by Carlos Pullinger, 1996 (Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales, El Salvador).
Los Infernillos Cantón las Meses thermal area at Chinameca volcano features a cluster of mudpots. This is part of a series of fumarole fields surrounding the city of Chinameca.

Photo by Carlos Pullinger, 1994 (Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales, El Salvador).
The Chinameca volcanic complex on the center horizon is seen here from the west beyond the low-angle slopes of the Pleistocene El Tigre volcano in the foreground. The low, flat-topped peak at the right side of the Chinameca complex is Cerro el Limbo, a cone on the western flank of Chinameca caldera. The high conical peak at the upper right is San Miguel volcano, which is separated by a low saddle from Chinameca.

Photo by Carlos Pullinger, 1994 (Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales, El Salvador).
Conical San Miguel volcano, one of El Salvador's most prominent landmarks, rises across a low saddle SE of Chinameca (Pacayal) volcano. The 2130-m-high San Miguel is seen here from Cerro el Limbo, a cone on the western flank of Chinameca. The southern side of Chinameca's 2-km-wide summit caldera is visible at the left.

Photo by Carlos Pullinger, 1996 (Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales, El Salvador).
Chinameca stratovolcano is seen here from the SE near the summit of neighboring San Miguel volcano. A 2-km-wide, steep-sided caldera, Laguna Seca el Pacayal (right-center), truncates the summit of Chinameca volcano. The Holocene cone of Cerro el Limbo (in the partial shade left of the caldera) on the western flank rises to a point above the level of the caldera rim. A group of fumarole fields is located on the north flank of the volcano near the town of Chinameca, and the volcano has been the site of a geothermal exploration program.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
Chinameca volcano, also known as El Pacayal, is seen here to the NW from the barren upper flanks of San Miguel volcano. Coffee plantations mantle the slopes of the 1300-m-high stratovolcano, which is truncated by a 2-km-wide caldera. The high point of the caldera, Cerro el Pacayal, lies on the western rim (left-center) and rises about 450 m above the caldera floor. The rounded peak of Cerro el Limbo at the left rises to above 1380 m, exceeding the height of the caldera rim.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
An E-W-trending chain of volcanoes extends ca. 30 km across eastern El Salvador. The small light-colored dot at the left is Laguna de Alegria, a crater of the Tecapa volcanic complex. No historical eruptions are known from the eroded Usulután and El Tigre volcanoes. The 2-km-wide Laguna Seca el Pacayal caldera is a prominent feature of Chinameca volcano. San Miguel is one of El Salvador's most active volcanoes; the dark area at the lower right is a lava flow from the 1819 eruption. The city of San Miguel is at the upper right.

NASA Space Shuttle image STS61C-31-47, 1986 (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/).

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. 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.

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.

Chesner C A, Pullinger C R, Escobar C D, 2004. Physical and chemical evolution of San Miguel volcano, El Salvador. In: Rose W I, Bommer J J, Lopez D L, Carr M J, Major J J (eds), Natural Hazards in El Salvador, {Geol Soc Amer Spec Pap}, 375: 213-226.

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.

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

Williams H, Meyer-Abich H, 1955. Volcanism in the southern part of El Salvador with particular reference to the collapse basins of Lakes Coatepeque and Ilopango. Univ Calif Pub Geol Sci, 32: 1-64.

Volcano Types

Stratovolcano
Caldera
Pyroclastic cone

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Major
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
14,998
89,206
824,983
4,897,760

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Chinameca Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.