BackgroundVolcán Atitlán is one of several prominent conical stratovolcanoes in the Guatemalan highlands. Along with its twin volcano Tolimán to the north, it forms a dramatic backdrop to Lake Atitlán, one of the scenic highlights of the country. The 3535-m-high summit of Atitlán directly overlies the inferred margin of the Pleistocene Atitlán III caldera and is the highest of three large post-caldera stratovolcanoes constructed near the southern caldera rim. The volcano consequently post-dates the eruption of the voluminous, roughly 85,000-year-old rhyolitic Los Chocoyos tephra associated with formation of the Atitlán III caldera. The historically active andesitic Volcán Atitlán is younger than Tolimán, although their earlier activity overlapped. In contrast to Tolimán, Atitlán displays a thick pyroclastic cover. The northern side of the volcano is wooded to near the summit, whereas the upper 1000 m of the southern slopes are unvegetated. Predominantly explosive eruptions have been recorded from Volcán Atitlán since the 15th century.
Smithsonian / GVP volcano information
Atitlán, Toliman, and San Pedro volcanoes (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Early morning at the shore of Lake Atitlán with Atitlán, Toliman and San Pedro volcanoes in the background (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Sunrise over Lake Atitlán with Atitlán and Toliman volcanoes in the background (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Atitlán and Toliman volcanoes seen from the shore of the Atitlán Lake (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Atitlán volcano tours:Volcanoes in the land of the Maya (15-day study trip and expedition to Guatemala's volcanoes)Guatemala Volcano Special (8-day volcano tour to Pacaya and Fuego, Guatemala)
See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8 | NASA FIRMS