Crater of the Volcán Tajumulco
|Elevation||4,220 m (13,850 ft)|
|Prominence||3,980 m (13,060 ft)|
|Isolation||722 kilometres (449 mi)|
|Location||San Marcos, Guatemala|
|Parent range||Sierra Madre|
|Volcanic arc/belt||Central America Volcanic Arc|
Volcán Tajumulco is a large stratovolcano in the department of San Marcos in western Guatemala. It is the highest mountain in Central America at 4,202 metres (13,786 ft). It is part of the mountain range of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, which begins in Mexico's southernmost state of Chiapas.
A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a conical volcano built up by many layers (strata) of hardened lava, tephra, pumice and ash. Unlike shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes are characterized by a steep profile with a summit crater and periodic intervals of explosive eruptions and effusive eruptions, although some have collapsed summit craters called calderas. The lava flowing from stratovolcanoes typically cools and hardens before spreading far, due to high viscosity. The magma forming this lava is often felsic, having high-to-intermediate levels of silica, with lesser amounts of less-viscous mafic magma. Extensive felsic lava flows are uncommon, but have travelled as far as 15 km (9.3 mi).
San Marcos is a department in northwestern Guatemala, on the Pacific Ocean and along the western Guatemala-Mexico border.
Guatemala, officially the Republic of Guatemala, is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. With an estimated population of around 16.6 million, it is the most populated country in Central America. Guatemala is a representative democracy; its capital and largest city is Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.
Tajumulco is composed of andesitic-dacitic lavas on the top of a large escarpment of uncertain origin. It has two summits, one of which has a crater 50–70 metres (160–230 ft) wide. A lava flow from the north-western summit descends into a steep valley on the same side of the volcano.
The volcano's eruptive history is unclear and the date of its last eruption is unknown. Reports from the 18th and early 19th century claim to record eruptions but these are considered unlikely.
The region around Tajumulco is relatively sparsely populated. 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) to the south-east. Although it is infrequently visited, the volcano can be climbed in about five hours from the hamlet of Tuichán. Views are variable as the area is frequently covered in mist and cloud, with conditions at their least favorable between April and September.The nearest town is San Marcos, located
San Marcos (elevation: 7,868 feet is a city and municipality in Guatemala. It is the capital of the department of San Marcos. The municipality has a population of approximately 45,000.
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