Satellite Image, Photo of Sierra Madre, Guatemala

This low-oblique photograph produces an almost 3-dimensional quality for viewing the Pacific coast of southern Mexico and western Guatemala. The narrow coastal plain lies in marked contrast to the rugged Sierra Madre and Sierra de los Cuchumatanes of western Guatemala. A pronounced chain of volcanoes parallels the Pacific coast along the western edge of the mountainous terrain. Two neighboring volcanoes, Agua and Fuego, are visible near the southeastern edge of the photograph. More easterly Agua Volcano exceeds 12 330 feet (3760 meters) and erupted in 1541, almost completely burying the village of Cuidad Vieja. During recent years, Fuego Volcano [summit of 12 310 feet (3752 meters)] has emitted smoke and steam but has not caused great destruction. The outline of the capital, Guatemala City, is barely discernible just east of these two volcanoes. Deep blue Lake Atitlán, 35 miles (57 kilometers) west of Guatemala City, has a surface elevation of 5125 feet (1560 meters) above sea level, and further northwest, elongated Angostura Reservoir is visible in southern Mexico. A major unidentified east-west fault line extends across northwest Guatemala through a small part of southern Mexico.
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA/JPL/NIMA

Satellite Image, Photo, Volcanoes Acatenango and Fuego, Guatemala

The two prominent stratovolcanoes near the center of the picture (look for the radial drainage) are Acatenango (north) and Fuego (south). Their respective summit elevations are 13,045 feet (3976 meters) and 12,336 feet (3760 meters) above sea level. These volcanoes are part of a volcanic belt, which is aligned northwest to southeast near the west coast of Central America. The volcanic belt is the result of the Cocos Plate and a small piece of the Nazca Plate being subducted under the Caribbean Plate. This image graphically shows the volcanic axis that extends from Lago (lake) Atitlan (dark feature, bottom right) southeasterly to beyond the smaller lake (dark feature) south of the lighter colored landscape of Guatemala City (middle left edge-not to be confused with the white clouds). The darker-looking mountainous terrain and the flanks of the volcanoes are covered by lush forest vegetation.
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA/JPL/NIMA

Guatemala Fires

This SeaWiFS view captures the thick smoke over Guatemala from fires in the forests.
Source: Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE

Santa Maria Volcano, Guatemala

The eruption of Santa Maria volcano in 1902 was one of the largest eruptions of the 20th century, forming a large crater on the mountains southwest flank. Since 1922, a lava-dome complex, Santiaguito, has been forming in the 1902 crater. Growth of the dome has produced pyroclastic flows as recently as the 2001—they can be identified in this image. The city of Quezaltenango (approximately 90,000 people in 1989) sits below the 3772 m summit. The volcano is considered dangerous because of the possibility of a dome collapse such as one that occurred in 1929, which killed about 5000 people. A second hazard results from the flow of volcanic debris into rivers south of Santiaguito, which can lead to catastrophic flooding and mud flows. More information on this volcano can be found at web sites maintained by the Smithsonian Institution , Volcano World , and Michigan Tech University.
Source: ISS004-ESC-7999 was taken 17 February 2002 from the International Space Station using a digital camera. The image is provided by the Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory at Johnson Space Center. Searching and viewing of additional images taken by