2006 Philadelphia Annual Meeting (22–25 October 2006)
Paper No. 210-11
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM-4:15 PM


WILLIAMS, Stanley N., School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, Stanley.Williams@asu.edu, REYNOLDS III, James H., Division of Science & Mathematics, Brevard College, Brevard, NC 28712, and CLARKE, Amanda B., School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 876004, Tempe, AZ 85287-6004

With the goal of introducing eleven undergraduate and graduate students to the benefits and excitement of international geological research, three professors and a colleague, led the group to Guatemala for 10 days in January 2006. The initial exposure was a climb to the crater of Pacaya Volcano. From there and from surrounding environs observations were made of explosive eruptions of Fuego Volcano. Observation and measurements were then conducted at Santiaguito Lava Dome. Other highlights included driving from the Caribbean Plate across the seismically very active Motagua Fault to the kilometer high scarp on the North American Plate with remarkable exposures. Various key exposures of the prehistoric Atitlán eruption (ca. 85,000 BCE) were visited across western Guatemala. Two days were spent within the beautiful Atitlán Caldera that formed from the catastrophic 500 km3 eruption. The Atitlán excursion included a visit to the site of the deadly mudflow that flowed down the flank of Atitlán into the village of Nabaj in October 2005 during heavy rains from Hurricane Stan which entombed approximately 35 people from the village.

Santiaguito, which formed 20 years after the major eruption of Santa María Volcano in 1902, has had virtually constant explosive vulcanian eruptions that can be easily observed from a distance of only 1 km. The group spent two days making many preliminary quantitative measurements of the dynamics of the eruptions. Few other places in the world allow collection of such information. Modeling of deadly Vulcanian eruptions has not been extensive enough to allow hazard mitigation.

In addition to the geological marvels of Guatemala, students were introduced to the various joys, wonders, and frustrations of international fieldwork. Everyone came away with an appreciation of the requirements of international work and all were eager to return.

2006 Philadelphia Annual Meeting (22–25 October 2006)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 210
Geoscience Education
Pennsylvania Convention Center: 112 B
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Wednesday, 25 October 2006

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 38, No. 7, p. 510

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