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
See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8