Las Pilas volcano
Nicaragua, 12.5°N / -86.69°W
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)
Las Pilas volcano is a volcanic complex near Cerro Negro volcano 75 km NW of the capital Managua.
The volcano consists of several cones around the central vent, Las Pilas, which contains a 700 m wide and 120 m deep crater and is the site of the recent activity.
El Hoyo is a 150 m deep pit crater immediately SW of the main crater. It contains particularly strong fumaroles and produces sometimes dense plumes of gas and steam.
The only certain historic activity from Las Pilas were 2 phreatic eruptions from a fissure on the eastern side of Las Pilas cone in 1952 and 1954. An eruption in the 16th century is uncertain.
Las Pilas volcano eruptions: 1994 (?), 1954, 1952, 1528 (?)
Latest nearby earthquakes
|Time||Mag. / Depth||Distance/Location|
|Friday, September 30, 2022 GMT (1 quake)|
|Sep 30, 2022 1:36 am (GMT -6) (Sep 30, 2022 07:36 GMT)|
|28 km (17 mi)|
Chinandega, 27 km north of Leon, Nicaragua
|Wednesday, September 28, 2022 GMT (1 quake)|
|Sep 28, 2022 4:53 am (GMT -6) (Sep 28, 2022 10:53 GMT)|
|28 km (17 mi)|
22 km northeast of Chichigalpa, Chinandega, Nicaragua
|Tuesday, September 27, 2022 GMT (2 quakes)|
|Sep 27, 2022 8:32 am (GMT -6) (Sep 27, 2022 14:32 GMT)|
|29 km (18 mi)|
Departamento de Leon, 24 km northeast of Chichigalpa, Chinandega, Nicaragua
|Sep 27, 2022 12:55 am (GMT -6) (Sep 27, 2022 06:55 GMT)|
|25 km (16 mi)|
8.1 km west of Nagarote, Departamento de Leon, Nicaragua
|Saturday, September 24, 2022 GMT (1 quake)|
|Sep 24, 2022 12:59 am (GMT -6) (Sep 24, 2022 06:59 GMT)|
|54 km (34 mi)|
Departamento de Matagalpa, 39 km south of Esteli, Nicaragua
BackgroundThe 30 km long Las Pilas volcanic complex is built along a N-S-trending fracture system and contains numerous young cones, craters and maars.
The lake-filled Asososca maar is located next to the conical 818-m-high Cerro Asososca cone on the southern side of the fissure system, south of the axis of the Marrabios Range. 2 small maars west of Lake Managua are located at the southern end of the fissure.
- Bice, D.C., 1980, Tephra stratigraphy and physical aspects of recent volcanism near Managua, Nicaragua: Ph.D. Dissertation, Univ of California, Berkeley, 422 p
- Smithsonian / GVP volcano information
A possible small phreatic eruption could have occurred at Las Pilas volcano in early 1994. A dense white steam plume was visible on 3 March from at least 10 km south of the volcano.
Geologist visiting the area found a new(?) circular, 10 m diameter pit crater on the upper southern slope of the main crater as the source of the plume. The pit had vertical walls covered with sulfur deposits. 50-75 m to the W, another larger circular pit crater measuring about 30-40 m in diameter was observed.
(Source: Smithsonian / GVP monthly reports)
See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8 | NASA FIRMS