Pacaya, Guatemala

Location: 14.38N, 90.60W
Elevation: 8,371 feet (2,552 meters)

Last Updated: 2 March 2001


Pacaya is a complex volcano, consisting of an older stratovolcano, domes, flows, tephra, and the modern basaltic stratovolcano. Most of the complex has formed in the last 23,000 years. Photograph copyrighted and provided by Steve O'Meara of Volcano Watch International.


Pacaya has erupted at least 23 times since 1565. Little is known about the early historic eruptions due to the remote location of the volcano.


Vertical aerial photograph of Pacaya in 1962. Pacaya was in repose from 1860 to 1961. The eruption in March of 1961 began without warning and lasted about one month.


Vertical aerial photograph of Pacaya. In 1962, collapse near the summit of the volcano formed a pit crater. The pit crater has been the focus of more recent volcanic activity and a cone is growing in the crater.


Since 1965, Pacaya has been erupting nearly continuously. The style of eruption alternates between strombolian and plinian. Hundreds of explosions occur each day at Pacaya. Strombolian eruptions throw incandescent bombs hundreds of meters into the air and produce small aa flows. This photo shows aa flows on Pacaya on November 11, 1993. Photograph copyrighted and provided by Steve O'Meara of Volcano Watch International.


Close-up of aa flows on Pacaya. Photograph copyrighted and provided by Steve O'Meara of Volcano Watch International.


Pacaya and the Big Dipper. Photograph copyrighted and provided by Steve O'Meara of Volcano Watch International.


Small explosive eruption at Pacaya, December 1986. Photograph by Bruce Nelson and Mike Lyvers.


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