Journal of


  (Formerly Journal of the Czech Geological Society)

Original Paper

Jaroslav Lexa, Jiří Šebesta, José Alexander Chavez, W Hernández, Zoltán Pécskay

Geology and volcanic evolution in the southern part of the San Salvador Metropolitan Area

Journal of Geosciences, volume 56 (2011), issue 1, 106 - 140


  Abstract References

We have carried out geological studies including mapping at the scale 1 : 50 000 in the southern part of the San Salvador Metropolitan Area to support urban planning and natural hazard mitigation. The study area extends over the Cordillera del Bálsamo, marginal fault system and southern part of the Central Graben between the active San Salvador volcano and Ilopango caldera. It represents a segment in the Central American Volcanic Front. Volcanic rocks of the Late Miocene to recent age, classified as the Bálsamo, Cuscatlán and San Salvador formations, occur in the area. Remnants of two large basaltic andesite to andesite stratovolcanoes, Panchimalco and Jayaque, represent the Bálsamo Formation. They show periclinal dips and facies zoning from lava flows and coarse epiclastic volcanic breccias of the proximal zone through epiclastic volcanic breccias/conglomerates of the medial zone to epiclastic volcanic conglomerates and sandstones of the distal zone. Their ages are 7.2—6.1 Ma and 2.6—1.5 Ma respectively. The Cuscatlán Formation comprises the Jayaque and Santo Tomás calderas, the andesitic—dacitic Ilopango and Jayaque ignimbrites (1.9—1.4 Ma) in the SW and SE parts of the area, the Ilopango andesitic volcano (1.5—0.8 Ma), the Loma Larga basaltic volcano (0.8—0.5 Ma), the Planes de Renderos caldera, the dacite—andesite San Jacinto extrusive domes and effusive cone (0.4—0.25 Ma), the San José tuff/scoria cone, the Ilopango caldera extrusive domes (0.25—0.05 Ma), the Antiguo Cuscatlán scoria cone (0.2—0.08 Ma) and older tephra deposits of the Coatepeque and Ilopango calderas exposed along marginal faults of the Central Graben. The San Salvador Formation occurs as tephra cover along the crest of the Cordillera del Bálsamo where it rests on laterites atop the Bálsamo Formation and in the Central Graben. Tephra units belong to the Coatepeque caldera (Arce and Congo), San Salvador volcano (Apopa, G1 and G2) and Ilopango caldera (Tierra Blanca 1—4) spanning 70—1 ka. Tephra units are separated by palaeosols and aeolian dusty deposits.

Journal of Geosciences, Published by © Czech Geological Society, with support from the Czech Geological Survey.
Webdesign inspired by aTeo. Hosted at the server of the Institute of Petrology and Structural Geology, Charles University, Prague.
ISSN: 1803-1943 (online), 1802-6222 (print)
email: jgeosci(at)
cover_rotated.gif, 15kB

SNIP (Scopus, 2015): 0.700

IF (ISI, 2015): 1.326

Policy: Open Access

ISSN: 1802-6222

E-ISSN: 1803-1943