BackgroundPacaya is a complex basaltic volcano constructed just outside the southern topographic rim of the 14 x 16 km Pleistocene Amatitlán caldera. A cluster of dacitic lava domes occupies the southern caldera floor. The post-caldera Pacaya massif includes the Cerro Grande lava dome and a younger volcano to the SW. Collapse of Pacaya volcano about 1100 years ago produced a debris-avalanche deposit that extends 25 km onto the Pacific coastal plain and left an arcuate somma rim inside which the modern Pacaya volcano (MacKenney cone) grew. A subsidiary crater, Cerro Chino, was constructed on the NW somma rim and was last active in the 19th century.
During the past several decades, activity at Pacaya has consisted of frequent strombolian eruptions with intermittent lava flow extrusion that has partially filled in the caldera moat and armored the flanks of MacKenney cone, punctuated by occasional larger explosive eruptions that partially destroy the summit of the cone.
Pacaya 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