Lake Atitlan (center), San Pedro (left), Toliman (right background), and Atitlan (right foreground). View is to the northeast.


Image Credit:  Steve O'Meara of Volcano Watch International.



Volcanic activity began in the Lake Atitlan area about 11-12 million years ago. The present-day stratovolcanoes and caldera represent the most recent of four periods of volcano growth and caldera collapse. This recent period of activity began about 1.8 million years ago. A large explosive eruption about 84,000 years ago formed the most recent Atitlan caldera.



Lake Atitlan fills part of the caldera.


Volcanic features of the Lake Atitlan area. From Mooser and others (1958) and Newhall (1981).



San Pedro, Toliman (background), and Atitlan (foreground)stratovolcanoes formed within the most recent caldera.

Image Credit:  Steve O'Meara of Volcano Watch International.



Photo taken from the northeast showing Lake Atitlan in the forground with Atitlan in the center and Toliman located off to the right.


Image showing all three volcanoes - from left to right: Atitlan, Toliman and San Pedro.



Atitlan, Toliman with a small parasitic cinder cone on its northeastern slope.


View from the summit of Acatenango looking west with Atitlan in the foreground. Photograph courtesy of Bruce Nelson.



Sources of Information:

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

Newhall, C.G., 1987, Geology of the Lake Atitlan region, western Guatemala: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 33, p. 23-55.

Newhall, C.G., 1981, Geology of the Lake Atitlan area, Guatemala: a study in subduction zone volcanism and caldera formation: M.S. thesis, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire.

Rose, W.I., Penfield, G.T., Drexler, J.W., and Larson, P.B., 1980, Geochemistry of the andesite flank lavas of three composite cones within the Atitlan Cauldron, Guatemala: Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 43, p. 133-154.

Simkin, T., and Siebert, L., 1994, Volcanoes of the World: Geoscience Press, Tucson, Arizona, 349 p.

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