Santiaguito Dec 2015: eruptions from Caliente

Impressions of Santiaguito volcano's activity during 26-28 Dec 2015 from our Guatemala volcano tour when we spent two nights on the summit of Santa Maria, more than 1000 m above the active lava dome - one (if not THE) best volcano observation spots in the world!
An eruption plume rises through the usual afternoon cloud cover over the coastal plain. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
An eruption plume rises through the usual afternoon cloud cover over the coastal plain. (Photo: Tom ... [info]
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Steven films his first eruption from Santiaguito. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Steven films his first eruption from Santiaguito. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Degassing of the Caliente lava dome seen in moonlight. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Degassing of the Caliente lava dome seen in moonlight. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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During one of the occasional stronger degassing phases which lasted up to 10-15 minutes, a loud jet-engine sound accompanies the stream of escaping hot gasses, and some small incandescent fragments and fine ash, from a fissure-like structure on the northeastern part of the crater floor. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
During one of the occasional stronger degassing phases which lasted up to 10-15 minutes, a loud jet-... [info]
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Caliente falls back to sleep after the degassing phase is over. Only very few incandescent spots are visible. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Caliente falls back to sleep after the degassing phase is over. Only very few incandescent spots are... [info]
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Low clouds engulf most of the lava dome during another jet-like degassing event. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Low clouds engulf most of the lava dome during another jet-like degassing event. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffe... [info]
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View towards the western part of Guatemala's volcanic front with the silhouettes of Tacana (left background), at the border with Mexico, and Tacomulco volcano (right), where a light from a mountain camp is visible. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View towards the western part of Guatemala's volcanic front with the silhouettes of Tacana (left bac... [info]
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A strombolian-type eruption from Santiaguito's Caliente vent. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A strombolian-type eruption from Santiaguito's Caliente vent. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Most of the erupted material is fine ash. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Most of the erupted material is fine ash. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Around 3:30 am on 27 Dec 2015, a stronger explosion occurs at the summit of the active  "Caliente" lava dome of Santiaguito.
The eruption originates in similar strength from two adjacent vents. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Around 3:30 am on 27 Dec 2015, a stronger explosion occurs at the summit of the active "Caliente" l... [info]
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Lots of incandescent bombs are ejected along with a dense, dark ash plume. Many glowing rockfalls occur through the eastern scar. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Lots of incandescent bombs are ejected along with a dense, dark ash plume. Many glowing rockfalls oc... [info]
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The ash plume starts to rise, blackening out the moonlight. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The ash plume starts to rise, blackening out the moonlight. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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As rockfalls continue, the ash plume has now risen more than 1 km. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
As rockfalls continue, the ash plume has now risen more than 1 km. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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After the ash plume has lifted, glowing bombs remain visible on the crater floor. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
After the ash plume has lifted, glowing bombs remain visible on the crater floor. (Photo: Tom Pfeiff... [info]
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Another, weaker explosion occurs only about 15 minutes later. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Another, weaker explosion occurs only about 15 minutes later. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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A smaller ash plume rises from the "follow-up" eruption. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A smaller ash plume rises from the "follow-up" eruption. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The ash plume from the first eruption is now high above our viewpoint (3600 m a.s.l.) and spreads laterally E-W. Later, fine ash fall on our camp terminates a cold and windy night's of observation. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The ash plume from the first eruption is now high above our viewpoint (3600 m a.s.l.) and spreads la... [info]
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View over the Santiaguito lava dome complex at dawn. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View over the Santiaguito lava dome complex at dawn. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Dawn with first sunrays hitting trees and rocks beneath our observation spot. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Dawn with first sunrays hitting trees and rocks beneath our observation spot. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Santa Maria's conical morning shadow over the western cordillera. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Santa Maria's conical morning shadow over the western cordillera. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Caliente lava dome (left) and the old La Mitad dome (active between 1940-50) to the right. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Caliente lava dome (left) and the old La Mitad dome (active between 1940-50) to the right. (Photo: T... [info]
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The fronts of the viscous lava flow on the SE side of the dome, which had been active in 2014. Towards the end of its activity in November, the flow changed its path to form a second branch more to the west, partially overlapping an older, similar flow there. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The fronts of the viscous lava flow on the SE side of the dome, which had been active in 2014. Towar... [info]
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The inactive El Monje lava dome (l), active in the 1950s, and the El Brujo dome (r), active in the 1960's until mid 1980s. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The inactive El Monje lava dome (l), active in the 1950s, and the El Brujo dome (r), active in the 1... [info]
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The Santiaguito lava dome complex with its 4 domes seen from the summit of Santa Maria volcano. From l to r, these are: Caliente (currently active), La Mitad, El Monje, and El Brujo. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The Santiaguito lava dome complex with its 4 domes seen from the summit of Santa Maria volcano. From... [info]
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A weak eruption in the morning of 27 Dec. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A weak eruption in the morning of 27 Dec. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Another eruption in the afternoon sends an ash plume through the cloud deck covering the dome complex. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Another eruption in the afternoon sends an ash plume through the cloud deck covering the dome comple... [info]
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Weak eruption at night. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Weak eruption at night. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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A plume with only light ash content is produced by this eruption. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A plume with only light ash content is produced by this eruption. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Dawn with first sunlight reaching the summit of Caliente dome. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Dawn with first sunlight reaching the summit of Caliente dome. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Small morning eruption from Caliente dome (28 Dec). (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Small morning eruption from Caliente dome (28 Dec). (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Moderate explosion with ash plume rising almost vertically. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Moderate explosion with ash plume rising almost vertically. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Wide-angle view of the eruption, with a 1000 m tall plume. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Wide-angle view of the eruption, with a 1000 m tall plume. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Another, moderately strong explosion occurs on the morning of 28 Dec. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Another, moderately strong explosion occurs on the morning of 28 Dec. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The plume from the previous eruption has drifted east, leaving a trail in the atmosphere. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The plume from the previous eruption has drifted east, leaving a trail in the atmosphere. (Photo: To... [info]
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A third eruption within one hour, but with less energy. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A third eruption within one hour, but with less energy. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Looking at Santiaguito from the south shows the giant collapse scar in the southern side of Santa Maria volcano, resulting from its plinian eruption in 1902. 
Not shown, but a strong eruption occurred while we were driving around the volcano, producing a plume that rose several kilometer. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Looking at Santiaguito from the south shows the giant collapse scar in the southern side of Santa Ma... [info]
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