RAPID: Geochemical and Geophysical Observations of the 2015 Eruption of Volcan Momotombo, Nicaragua

Project: Research project

Project Details


Volcan Momotombo, Nicaragua is a basaltic to basaltic-andesite stratovolcano located along the active Central American Volcanic Arc. It last erupted in 1905. Seismic swarms have been occurring beneath Momotombo for the past year. A major seismic swarm, which included an M4.7 earthquake, began on November 24, 2015, and culminated in gas and ash eruptions beginning at 7:49 am (local time) on December 1, 2015. By the evening of December 1, Momotombo was in strombolian eruption with columns to ~1 km and lava flows flowing down the northern flank of the volcano. At this stage the Momotombo eruption appears to be characterized by both small-volume lava and small-volume tephra emissions.

This RAPID funding will support a multi-disciplinary team that will travel to Nicaragua to collaborate with our INETER colleagues to: 1) install GPS instruments around the volcano and analyze existing GPS data; 2) install four broadband seismic instruments to study magma storage and migration beneath Momotombo; 3) make observations of the ongoing eruption to study the style of eruptive activity and collect tephra samples to investigate plume dynamics; 4) collect samples of tephra and lava flows for geochemical analyses; and 5) investigate precursory volcano and crustal deformation at Momomtombo using InSAR. This project leverages support from the NSF-funded COCONet project, the CEOS initiative, and existing infrastructure from previous NSF-funded projects led by members of this team.

Effective start/end date1/1/1612/31/18


  • National Science Foundation: $40,432.00


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