Santa Maria

Volcano number:324030
Region:Mexico and Central America
Geodetic measurements?Yes
Deformation observation?Yes
Measurement method(s):InSAR
Duration of observation:InSAR (2007-2009), other methods (campaigns: 2007-2012)
Inferred cause of deformation:Magmatic, Surface deposits
Characteristics of deformation:

Santa Maria volcano has been erupting from the Santiaguito lava dome complex almost continually since 1922. The complex is formed of four vents, and current activity is concentrated at the Caliente Vent.

InSAR measurements of lava flows extruded between 2000 and 2009 were able to estimate a maximum flow thickness of 140 m and a maximum flow subsidence rate of 10 cm/yr at the thickest part of the flows (Ebmeier et al., 2012).

Campaign measurements of the dome, using particle image velocimetry from high resolution optical cameras and doppler shifted radar, have observed uplift of the surface of the dome (Sharff et al., 2012, Johnson et al., 2008). Dome uplift occurs 1-2 s before regular minor explosions and has a maximum amplitude of 50 cm. Ultra long period (ULP) seismic signals coincident with explosions are interpreted to be due to tilting of seismometers. Modelling of a Mogi tilt source suggests deflation of a reservoir located ~250 m below the summit and a volume loss of 125 to 1825 m3 (Sanderson et al., 2010).

Reference:S.K. Ebmeier, J. Biggs, T.A. Mather, J.R. Elliott, G. Wadge, F. Amelung, Measuring large topographic change with InSAR: Lava thicknesses, extrusion rate and subsidence rate at Santiaguito volcano, Guatemala, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volumes 335–336, 15 June 2012, Pages 216-225, ISSN 0012-821X,
Reference:Scharff L., Ziemen F., Hort M., Gerst A., Johnson J.B. A detailed view into the eruption clouds of Santiaguito volcano, Guatemala, using Doppler radar. J. geophys. Res. 2012;117:B04201. doi:10.1029/2011JB008542.
Reference:Johnson J.B., Lees J.M., Gerst A., Sahagian D., Varley N. Long-period earthquakes and co-eruptive dome inflation seen with particle image velocimetry. Nature 2008;456:377-381.
Reference:R.W. Sanderson, J.B. Johnson, J.M. Lees, Ultra-long period seismic signals and cyclic deflation coincident with eruptions at Santiaguito volcano, Guatemala, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Volume 198, Issues 1–2, 1 December 2010, Pages 35-44, ISSN 0377-0273,
Location:-91.552, 14.756

View of Santa Maria from the southeast. An ash column, typical of the eruptive style since 1922, rises from the Santiaguito lava dome complex to the southwest of the main summit of Santa Maria.