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Roger Weller, geology instructor

Honduras Volcanoes
by Isis Berger
Physical Geology
Fall 2011

Dormant Volcanoes in Honduras

Four Classic Volcanoes in Honduras

            One of the most exotic countries in Central America is Honduras.  It consists of very high elevations and low valleys and green luscious tropical rainforest. Another one of its interest attractions is the dormant volcanoes that can be found there.

            Itís estimated that Honduras is covered with 40,000 square kilometers of trails, about 100 necks have been identified, 32 of these are located around Tegucigalpa the capital, and most of them are unnamed. Most volcanic cones are located in the central, southern, and eastern parts of Honduras. This area include the ďclassicĒ volcanoes in Honduras and the most well-known.

            Some volcanoes in Honduras are known as the classics such as Volcan el Tigre which is a strato volcano, Isla Zacate Grande which is also a strato volcano, Lake Yojoa which is a volcanic field, and Utila Island which is covered with pyroclastic cones. These volcanic mountains have an altitude less than 1,400 meters, but they are extremely steep and have numerous isolated narrow valleys. They have erupted in the last 10,000 years, but not in historical time.

            Volcan El Tigre is considered one of the most impressive in Honduras. It is located in the Southern Coast of Honduras in an Island called Isla del Tigre, in the Gulf of Fonseca. It has an elevation of 783 meters. It has beautiful scenery. It is near the equator and coast, thus the climate is extremely hot and humid. You can reach the Island from Tegucigalpa. The land you cross to reach the island is full of rainforest and the elevation increases as you get nearer the Island.

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Photo by Christian Rodriguez

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            Zacate Grande Volcano is located in Isla Zacate Grande. Itís a Holocene Strato volcano. Itís an Island 7X10 km wide across a narrow strait from the end of a peninsula surrounded on three sides by the Gulf of Fonseca and Chismuyo Bay. Itís located North of Isla El Tigre, however Zacate Grande is extremely eroded. It is covered with deep valleys from the top of the volcano to the base of the volcano.



Description: C:\Users\Isis Selenia\Pictures\Geology wep page pics\zacate grande 2.jpg

            The Lake Yojoa volcanic field is located in northern end of north-central Honduras, which also contains magnificent scenes. Itís made up of a group of Pleistocene-to-Holocene scoria cones and collapse pits. A variety of rocks from tholeiitic basalts to trachybasalts, trachyandesites, and trachytes, can be found there. Several of the pyroclastic cones contain well-preserved craters. Most of the pyroclastic cones consisting of basaltic scoria and agglutinate, are 100-200 M in height. There are indications of lava flows from in all directions from the cone. A few Quaternary lava flows occure in the Sulu graben along the Carretara del Norte north of Lake Yojoa.

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            Utila Island is the smallest of the Caribbean Bay Islands in Honduras. It is covered with pyroclastic cones, and itís a Holocene volcano Island. Basaltic lavas and tuffs were erupted onto a coral-capped erosional surface.  Stuert Hill, which is also pronounces as Stuart Hill, is a pyroclastic cone that was constructed at the center of the volcanic terrain, and Pumpkin Hill is a small littoral cone located along the NE coast of the island. This is also the highest point of the island, which rises 74 M above sea level.

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             There are many places in Honduras to admire indications of volcanoes and enjoy nature, but these four volcanoes are considered to be one of the most exciting volcanoes in Honduras and worth it to go sightseeing.