Advertisement

Bulletin of Volcanology

, 73:833 | Cite as

Three thousand years of flank and central vent eruptions of the San Salvador volcanic complex (El Salvador) and their effects on El Cambio archeological site: a review based on tephrostratigraphy

  • D. Ferrés
  • H. Delgado Granados
  • W. Hernández
  • C. Pullinger
  • H. Chávez
  • C. R. Castillo Taracena
  • C. Cañas-Dinarte
Research Article

Abstract

The volcanic events of the last 3,000 years at San Salvador volcanic complex are reviewed using detailed stratigraphic records exposed in new excavations between 2005 and 2007, at El Cambio archeological site (Zapotitán Valley, El Salvador), and in other outcrops on the northern and northwestern sectors of the complex. The sequences that overlie Tierra Blanca Joven (cal. 429 ± 107 ad), from the Ilopango caldera, comprise the Loma Caldera (cal. 590 ± 90 ad) and El Playón (1658–1671) deposits and the San Andrés Tuff (cal. 1031 ± 29 ad), related to El Boquerón Volcano. The surge deposits within the El Playón, San Andrés Tuff and overlying Talpetate II sequences indicate the significance of phreatomagmatic phases in both central vent and flank eruptions during the last 1,600 years. Newly identified volcanic deposits underlying Tierra Blanca Joven at El Cambio extend the stratigraphic record of the area to 3,000 years bp. Paleosols interstratified with those deposits contain cultural artifacts which could be associated with the Middle Preclassic period (900–400 bc). If correct, human occupation of the site during the Preclassic period was more intense than previously known and volcanic eruptions must have affected prehistoric settlements. The archeological findings provide information on how prehistoric populations dealt with volcanic hazards, thousands of years ago in the eastern Zapotitán Valley, where several housing projects are currently being developed. The new stratigraphic and volcanological data can be used as a basis for local and regional hazard assessment related to future secondary vent activity in the San Salvador Volcanic Complex.

Keywords

San Salvador volcanic complex El Cambio archeological site Scoria cone Maar Phreatomagmatism 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was possible thanks to the funding provided by Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores de México, Instituto Panamericano de Geografía e Historia, Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología del Distrito Federal and the IPGARAMSS Program (ruled by the NG0 “Geólogos del Mundo”, Office of Land Use Management, and the 14 municipalities of San Salvador Metropolitan Area), supported by Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo. This work would have not been possible without the logistic and technical support of the Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (SNET) of El Salvador. Thanks are expressed to Departamento de Arqueología of the Secretaría de Cultura (El Salvador) and to the Academia Salvadoreña de la Historia for allowing access to internal reports cited in this study. We are grateful to Marta González for her invitation to participate in the first ECAS campaign; to Marcelo Perdomo, Marielba Herrera, and Francisco Arévalo for their support during the 2005 field campaign and to Hester Carter for her help during the digital drawing of the stratigraphic sections. Thanks to Galia González and Laura Beramendi for their helpful review of the 14C data. We are indebted to Dr. Julie Roberge, Dr Steve Self and to the two referees, Dr. Steffen Kutterolf and Dr. Claudia Principe, for their detailed reviews of the manuscript; also to Luke Bowman and Graham Clough for the English revision of the text.

Supplementary material

445_2011_465_Fig8_ESM.jpg (262 kb)
Online resource 1

Correlation and thickness variations of Plan de La Laguna, Cerro La Hoya, and Talpetate I volcanic deposits along the southeastern flank of BV from the crater rim to Plan de la Laguna maar on the western San Salvador. Inset: Map of the SE flank of BV showing the location of the outcrops considered in the correlation (JPEG 261 kb)

445_2011_465_MOESM1_ESM.tif (16.2 mb)
High-resolution image (TIFF 16595 kb)
445_2011_465_Fig9_ESM.jpg (433 kb)
Online resource 2

Thickness variations of volcanic deposits of the Lower and Upper Series defined at ECAS. a The north to south correlation includes trenches U1, S3, L3, and E2 (see Fig. 3); b The east to west correlation includes trenches O1, S2, and AC1. Nomenclature of the units is the same as in Fig. 4 and Table 2 (JPEG 432 kb)

445_2011_465_MOESM2_ESM.tif (15.7 mb)
High-resolution image (TIFF 16051 kb)
445_2011_465_MOESM3_ESM.doc (46 kb)
Online resource 3 Radiocarbon ages of charcoal found at the lower contact of Talpetate I and within the overlying soil at northwestern flank of BV (DF-69). Asterisk (*) indicates ages BP reported by the Radiocarbon Laboratory at UNAM, and the others reported by the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory of Arizona University. The ages BP were calibrated and weighted using Calib© (Stuiver and Reimer 1993). The BP and calibrated ages for Talpetate I and Talpetate II considered in the manuscript are marked in grey squares. (DOC 46 kb)

References

  1. Amaroli P, Dull R (1999) Milpas prehispánicas en El Salvador. In: Laporte JP, Escobedo HL (eds) XII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala 1998. Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, Guatemala, pp 562–572Google Scholar
  2. Bosse HR, Lorenz W, Merino A, Mihm A, Rode K, Schmidt-Thomé M, Weber HS, Wiesemann G (1976) Geologische karte der Republik El Salvador, Mittleamerika; 1:100,000. Map I to VI. Herausgegeben von der Bunderstalt fur Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe. Hannover, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  3. Cañas-Dinarte C (2001) Cronología de una tierra danzarina: sismos y terremotos en El Salvador (siglos XVI al XXI), San Salvador. Academia Salvadoreña de la Historia. Internal Report, pp 1–82Google Scholar
  4. Castillo Taracena CR (2007) Informe final del Proyecto Arqueológico “El Cambio”. Temporada 2006–2007. Departamento de Arqueología. Dirección Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural. Secretaria de Cultura de la Presidencia. Internal Report, pp 1–81Google Scholar
  5. Chandler SM (1983) Excavations at the Cambio site. In: Sheets P (ed) Archeology and volcanism in Central America. University of Texas Press, Austin, pp 98–118Google Scholar
  6. Chávez H (2009) El entierro Preclásico EC I “8 A extensión –a”, Temporada 2006/07 del Sitio Arqueológico el Cambio, Valle de Zapotitán, San Juan Opico, La Libertad. Undergraduate Thesis. Licenciatura en Arqueología. Escuela de Antropología, Universidad Tecnológica de El Salvador. San Salvador, El SalvadorGoogle Scholar
  7. Cobos R (1994) Síntesis de la Arqueología en El Salvador (1850–1991). Colección Antropología e Historia, Dirección General de Patrimonio Cultural. Patronato Pro-Patrimonio Cultural, San Salvador, El Salvador, 21:51Google Scholar
  8. Digestyc (2007) VI censo de población y V de vivienda de El Salvador 2007. In: Dirección General de Estadística y Censos de El Salvador. Ministerio de Economía. http://www.digestyc.gob.sv/BoletinIPC/ResultadosVICensodePoblación-yVdeVivienda2007.pdf. Accessed 15 Sep 2009
  9. Dull RA, Southon JR, Sheets P (2001) Volcanism, ecology, and culture: a reassessment of the Volcán Ilopango TBJ eruption in the southern Maya real. Latin Am Antiquity 12:25–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Erquicia JH, Chávez H (2008) Informe final del reconocimiento y sondeo arqueológico en terrenos para ampliación de naves industriales de la empresa Hanes Brand, SA. Departamento de Arqueología de la Dirección de Patrimonio Cultural. Secretaría de Cultura de la Presidencia, El Salvador, Internal report, pp 1–31Google Scholar
  11. Escamilla M (2000) Fechamiento de la Toba San Andrés a través del Análisis Cerámico Pre y Post erupción de El Boquerón, Sitio El Chahuite, Zapotitán. Undergraduate Thesis. Licenciatura en Arqueología. Escuela de Antropología, Universidad Tecnológica de El Salvador, San Salvador, El SalvadorGoogle Scholar
  12. Ewert JY, Harpel C (2004) In harm's way: a volcano population index for estimating volcanic risk. Geotimes 4:14–17Google Scholar
  13. Fairbrothers GE, Carr MJ, Mayfield DG (1978) Temporal magmatic variation at Boquerón volcano, El Salvador. Contrib Mineralog Petrol 67:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ferrés D, Delgado H, Hernández W, Gutiérrez E, Pullinger C (2007) Destruction of San Salvador volcano and birth of El Boquerón volcano (El Salvador): detailed stratigraphic study of G1 and G2 sequences. Eos Trans. AGU 88(52), Fall Meet. Suppl. V31B-0490. http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm07/waisfm07.html. Accessed 20 Nov 2009
  15. Gallardo R (1997) El obraje de añil de San Andrés. Editorial Siquisirí, MéxicoGoogle Scholar
  16. González Rivas MD (2006) Urbanización Brisas de San Andrés, km 33 San Juan Opico: Investigación arqueológica del área impactada por el proyecto de urbanización. Informe preliminar de la investigación en El Sitio El Cambio. San Salvador, El Salvador, Internal Report, pp 1–44Google Scholar
  17. Hart W (1983) Classic to Postclassic Tephra exposed in Archeological sites, Eastern Zapotitán Valley of El Salvador. In: Sheets P (ed) Archeology and volcanism in Central America. University of Texas Press, Austin, pp 44–51Google Scholar
  18. Hart W, Steen-McIntyre V (1983) Tierra Blanca Joven Tephra from the AD 260 eruption of Ilopango caldera. In: Sheets P (ed) Archeology and volcanism in Central America. University of Texas Press, Austin, pp 14–43Google Scholar
  19. Italtekna Italconsult, Consorzio Salvador (Misión Italiana) (1988) San Salvador, programa di ricostruzione: Informe Vulcanológico. Direzione Generale per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo. Repubblica Italiana. Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales. San Salvador, El Salvador, pp 1–88Google Scholar
  20. Kutterolf S, Freundt A, Pérez W, Mörz T, Schacht U, Wehrmann H, Schmincke H-U (2008) Pacific offshore record of plinian arc volcanism in Central America: 1. Along-arc correlations, 2. Tephra volumes and erupted masses, 3. Application to fore arc geology. Geochem Geophys Geosystems 9. doi: 10.1029/2007GC001631
  21. Lardé y Arqués J (1960) Obras completas. Ministerio de Cultura, El Salvador 1:468–490Google Scholar
  22. Lardé y Larín J (1978) El Salvador: Inundaciones e incendios, erupciones y terremotos. Biblioteca de Historia Salvadoreña, Concultura, San Salvador, 5, pp 99–134Google Scholar
  23. Major JJ, Schilling SP, Sofield D, Escobar CD, Pullinger CR (2001) Volcano hazards in the San Salvador region, El Salvador. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01–366Google Scholar
  24. Marroquín KL, Vásquez CR (2007) Estudio Geotécnico de la erupción freatomagmática del Plan de la Laguna, Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad. Undergraduate Thesis. Ingeniería Civil, Facultad de Ingeniería y Arquitectura, Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeon Cañas”. San Salvador, El SalvadorGoogle Scholar
  25. McCalpin JP, Nelson AR (1996) Introduction to Paleoseismology. In: McCalpin J P (ed) Paleoseismology. Academic Press Inc, pp 1–32Google Scholar
  26. Meyer-Abich H (1956) Los volcanes activos de Guatemala y El Salvador. Anales del Servicio Geológico Nacional, El Salvador 3:66–72Google Scholar
  27. Miller D (1989) Stratigraphy of volcanic deposits at Cerén. In: Sheets P, Mckee B (eds) Archaeological investigations at the Cerén Site, El Salvador: a preliminary report 1989. Department of Antropology. University of Colorado, Boulder. Internal Report of Departmento de Arqueología, Dirección Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural. Secretaría de Cultura, pp 7–17Google Scholar
  28. Miller D (1992) Summary of 1992 geological investigations at Joya de Cerén. In: Sheets P, McKee B (eds) Archaeological Investigations at the Cerén Site, El Salvador: a preliminary report 1992. Department of Antropology. University of Colorado, Boulder. Internal Report of Departmento de Arqueología, Dirección Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural. Secretaría de Cultura, pp 4–7Google Scholar
  29. Miller D (1993) Summary of 1993 geological investigations at Joya de Cerén. In: Sheets P, McKee B (eds) Archaeological Investigations at the Cerén Site, El Salvador: a preliminary report 1993. Department of Antropology. University of Colorado, Boulder. Internal Report of Departmento de Arqueología, Dirección Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural. Secretaría de Cultura, pp 8–14Google Scholar
  30. Miller D (2000) Volcanology, stratigraphy and effects on structures. In: Sheets P (ed) Before the volcano erupted. University of Texas Press, Austin, pp 11–20Google Scholar
  31. Overmeier SF (1996) Using liquefaction-induced features for paleoseismic analysis. In: McCalpin J P (ed) Paleoseismology. Academic Press Inc, pp 331–396Google Scholar
  32. Rose WI, Conway FM, Pullinger CR, Deino A, McIntosh WC (1999) An improved age framework for late quaternary silicic eruptions in northern Central America. Bull Volcanol 61:106–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sapper K (1925) Los volcanes de la América Central. Verlag Max Niemeyer, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  34. Scolamacchia T, Pullinger C, Caballero L, Montalvo F, Beramendi L, González G (2010) The 2005 eruption of Ilamatepec (Santa Ana) volcano, El Salvador. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 189:291–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sharer R (1978) Pottery and conclusions. In: Sharer R (ed) Prehistory of Chalchuapa, vol 3. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, pp 206–215Google Scholar
  36. Sheets P (1983a) Introduction. In: Sheets P (ed) The Zapotitán valley of El Salvador: archeology and volcanism in Central America. University of Texas Press, Austin, pp 1–13Google Scholar
  37. Sheets P (1983b) Summary and conclusions. In: Sheets P (ed) The Zapotitán valley of El Salvador: archeology and volcanism in Central America. University of Texas Press, Austin, pp 275–293Google Scholar
  38. Sheets P (2004) Apocalypse then: social science approaches to volcanism, people, and cultures in the Zapotitán Valley, El Salvador. In: Rose et al. (eds) Natural hazards in El Salvador. Geological Society of America Special Paper, 375, pp 109–120Google Scholar
  39. SNET (2007) Estimate of the population living within the areas of influence of active volcanoes in El Salvador. Internal Report, pp 1–3Google Scholar
  40. Sofield DJ (1998) History and hazards of San Salvador volcano, El Salvador. Thesis of Master of Science in Geology. Michigan Technological UniversityGoogle Scholar
  41. Sofield DJ (2004) Eruptive history and hazards of Volcán San Salvador, El Salvador. In: Rose WI et al (eds) Natural hazards in El Salvador. Geol Soc Am Spec Pap 375, pp 147–158Google Scholar
  42. Stuiver M, Reimer PJ (1993) Extended 14C database and revised CALIB radiocarbon calibration program. Radiocarbon 35:215–230Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Ferrés
    • 1
  • H. Delgado Granados
    • 1
  • W. Hernández
    • 2
  • C. Pullinger
    • 3
  • H. Chávez
    • 4
  • C. R. Castillo Taracena
    • 5
  • C. Cañas-Dinarte
    • 6
  1. 1.Departamento de Vulcanología, Instituto de GeofísicaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxico DFMexico
  2. 2.Servicio Geológico, Dirección General del Servicio Nacional de Estudios TerritorialesMinisterio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos NaturalesSan SalvadorEl Salvador
  3. 3.LA GEO, SA de CVSanta TeclaEl Salvador
  4. 4.Departamento de ArqueologíaSecretaría de Cultura de la PresidenciaSan SalvadorEl Salvador
  5. 5.Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, Antropológicas y Arqueológicas, Escuela de HistoriaUniversidad de San Carlos de GuatemalaGuatemala CityGuatemala
  6. 6.Academia Salvadoreña de la HistoriaSan SalvadorEl Salvador

Personalised recommendations