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The Central American Volcanic Arc (often abbreviated to CAVA) is a chain of volcanoes which extends parallel to the Pacific coast line of the Central American Isthmus, from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and down to northern Panama. This volcanic arc, which has a length of 1,500 kilometres (930 mi), is formed by an active subduction zone along the western boundary of the Caribbean Plate.
The Central American Volcanic Arc includes hundreds of volcanic formations, ranging from major stratovolcanoes, to lava domes and cinder cones. Some of these have produced large explosive eruptions, like the colossal VEI 6 eruption of the Santa Maria volcano in 1902. Central America's highest volcanoes are found in Guatemala and include the Tajumulco and Volcán Tacaná, both above 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) . Several volcanoes in Central America are currently active, including Arenal, Turrialba, Irazú, Poás, and Rincon de la Vieja in Costa Rica; Cerro Negro, San Cristóbal, Concepción in Nicaragua; Chaparrastique or San Miguel, Ilamatepec or Santa Ana, Izalco in El Salvador; Santa Maria/Santiaguito, Pacaya, Fuego in Guatemala.
Central America is a region found in the southern tip of North America and is sometimes defined as a subcontinent of the Americas. This region is bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The combined population of Central America is estimated to be between 41,739,000 and 42,688,190.
El Salvador borders the North Pacific Ocean to the south and southwest, with Guatemala to the north-northwest and Honduras to the north-northeast. In the southeast, the Golfo de Fonseca separates it from Nicaragua. El Salvador is the smallest Central American country and is the only one without a coastline on the Caribbean sea.
The Ring of Fire is a major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. In a large 40,000 km (25,000 mi) horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and plate movements. It has 452 volcanoes.
The Cocos Plate is a young oceanic tectonic plate beneath the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of Central America, named for Cocos Island, which rides upon it. The Cocos Plate was created approximately 23 million years ago when the Farallon Plate broke into two pieces, which also created the Nazca Plate. The Cocos Plate also broke into two pieces, creating the small Rivera Plate. The Cocos Plate is bounded by several different plates. To the northeast it is bounded by the North American Plate and the Caribbean Plate. To the west it is bounded by the Pacific Plate and to the south by the Nazca Plate.
Santa María Volcano is a large active volcano in the western highlands of Guatemala, in the Quetzaltenango Department near the city of Quetzaltenango.
Pacaya is an active complex volcano in Guatemala, which first erupted approximately 23,000 years ago and has erupted at least 23 times since the Spanish invasion of Guatemala. Pacaya rises to an elevation of 2,552 metres (8,373 ft). After being dormant for over 70 years, it began erupting vigorously in 1961 and has been erupting frequently since then. Much of its activity is Strombolian, but occasional Plinian eruptions also occur, sometimes showering the area of the nearby Departments with ash.
Masaya is a caldera located in Masaya, Nicaragua, 20 km south of the capital Managua. It is Nicaragua's first and largest national park, and one of 78 protected areas of Nicaragua. The complex volcano is composed of a nested set of calderas and craters, the largest of which is Las Sierras shield volcano and caldera. Within this caldera lies a sub-vent, which is Masaya Volcano sensu stricto. The vent is a shield type composing of basaltic lavas and tephras and includes a summit crater. This hosts Masaya caldera, formed 2,500 years ago by an 8-km³ basaltic ignimbrite eruption. Inside this caldera a new basaltic complex has grown from eruptions mainly on a semi-circular set of vents that include the Masaya and Nindiri cones. The latter host the pit craters of Masaya, Santiago, Nindiri and San Pedro. Observations in the walls of the pit craters indicate that there have been several episodes of cone and pit crater formation.
The Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, also known as the Transvolcanic Belt and locally as the Sierra Nevada, is a volcanic belt that covers central-southern Mexico. Several of its highest peaks have snow all year long, and during clear weather, they are visible to a large percentage of those who live on the many high plateaus from which these volcanoes rise.
The Caribbean Plate is a mostly oceanic tectonic plate underlying Central America and the Caribbean Sea off the north coast of South America.
Bazman is a stratovolcano in a remote desert region of Sistan and Baluchestan Province in south-eastern Iran. A 500-m-wide crater caps the summit of the dominantly andesitic-dacitic volcano, the flanks of which are covered by monogenetic centres especially to the northwest. Bazman is a geologically young volcano which was made in the Quaternary, with the oldest dated rocks being 11.7 million years old and the youngest 0.6 million years. Although no historic eruptions have been reported from Bazman, it does contain fumaroles. Thus Bazman may be regarded as dormant, rather than extinct. Its satellite cones have been the source of basaltic lava flows.
Cosigüina is a stratovolcano located in the western part of Nicaragua. It forms a large peninsula extending into the Gulf of Fonseca. The summit is truncated by a large caldera, 2 x 2.4 km in diameter and 500 m deep, holding a substantial crater lake. This cone has grown within an earlier caldera, forming a somma volcano. The earlier caldera rim is still exposed on the north side, but has been buried by the younger cone elsewhere.
The Andean Volcanic Belt is a major volcanic belt along the Andean cordillera in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. It is formed as a result of subduction of the Nazca Plate and Antarctic Plate underneath the South American Plate. The belt is subdivided into four main volcanic zones that are separated from each other by volcanic gaps. The volcanoes of the belt are diverse in terms of activity style, products, and morphology. While some differences can be explained by which volcanic zone a volcano belongs to, there are significant differences within volcanic zones and even between neighboring volcanoes. Despite being a type location for calc-alkalic and subduction volcanism, the Andean Volcanic Belt has a broad range of volcano-tectonic settings, as it has rift systems and extensional zones, transpressional faults, subduction of mid-ocean ridges and seamount chains as well as a large range of crustal thicknesses and magma ascent paths and different amounts of crustal assimilations.
The Tehuantepec Ridge is a linear undersea ridge located off the west coast of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean. It is the remnant of an old fracture zone, and not a tectonic spreading center ridge. It extends from the eastern end of the Clipperton Fracture Zone northeastward toward Mexico into Chiapas and El Chichón until it is subducted into the Middle America Trench. It lies within the tectonic Cocos Plate, separating the lower and older seafloor of the Guatemala Basin which lies southeast of the ridge from higher and younger seafloor which lies to its northwest.
This is an Index of Central America-related articles. This index defines Central America as the seven nations of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.
Deep Earth Carbon Degassing (DECADE) project is an initiative to unite scientists around the world to make tangible advances towards quantifying the amount of carbon outgassed from the Earth's deep interior into the surface environment through naturally occurring processes. DECADE is an initiative within the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO).
The geology of Nicaragua includes Paleozoic crystalline basement rocks, Mesozoic intrusive igneous rocks and sedimentary rocks spanning the Cretaceous to the Pleistocene. Volcanoes erupted in the Paleogeneand within the last 2.5 million years of the Quaternary, due to the subduction of the Cocos Plate, which drives melting and magma creation. Many of these volcanoes are in the Nicaraguan Depression paralleled by the northwest-trending Middle America Trench which marks the Caribbean-Cocos plate boundary. Almost all the rocks in Nicaragua originated as dominantly felsic continental crust, unlike other areas in the region which include stranded sections of mafic oceanic crust. Structural geologists have grouped all the rock units as the Chortis Block.
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