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México and Central America
2011 CE
Volcanic Region
Primary Volcano Type
Last Known Eruption
1700 m
5577 ft
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Cloudcaps frequently mantle the summit of Volcán Concepción, one of Nicaragua's highest volcanoes. Concepción volcano towers to about 1700 m above Lake Nicaragua and is one of two major volcanoes forming Ometepe Island (also known as Chorotega, meaning "twin peaks"). The small peak on the lower SE flank at the lower right was constructed along one of four major N-S-trending fissures cutting the flanks of the volcano. These satellitic eruptions produced pyroclastic cones, lava domes, tuff rings, and maars.

Photo by Moser (courtesy of Jaime Incer).

Volcán Concepción is one of Nicaragua's highest volcanoes and is also one of its most active. The symmetrical volcano, seen here from the SE from the isthmus connecting it to Madera volcano, forms the NW half of the dumbbell-shaped island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua. N-S-trending fractures cutting across the volcano are associated with spatter cones, cinder cones, and maars on the flanks. Concepción has had frequent moderate explosive eruptions in the past century, most of which have originated from a small summit crater.

Photo by Jaime Incer.

The dumbbell-shaped island of Ometepe (also known as Chorotega, meaning "twin peaks") consists of two large stratovolcanoes, Concepción (left) and Maderas (right). The twin volcanoes are seen here from the west, across a 10-20 km wide strait in Lake Nicaragua separating the island from the mainland. The volcanoes were constructed on a basement of lake sediments overlying Tertiary-Cretaceous sediments. The break in slope just below the cloudcap on the left (northern) flank of Concepción is a the rim of a largely buried caldera.

Photo by Jaime Incer.

Symmetrical Volcán Concepción rises to about 1700 m above sea level, forming one of Nicaragua's highest volcanoes. More than 40 individual lava flows are visible on the volcano's flanks. Much of the upper cone, including the south side seen here, remains unvegetated. Frequent eruptions have substantially modified the summit region of the volcano since the publication of the last topographic map, which preceded the 1957 eruption. The previous broad summit plateau is now capped by a steep-sided cone.

Photo by Jaime Incer, 1994.

The steep-walled crater of Concepción volcano is seen here in an aerial view from the west in 1994. The crater is almost circular, 300 m in diameter and about 250 m deep. The upper part in 1993 had a funnel shape, which descended into a pit crater at the SW side. The northern and eastern sides had a break in slope half way down; the SW side was a vertical cliff. This cliff is the head scarp of a landslide that fell into the crater in December 1992, forming a 100-m-wide scree slope infilling part of the pit crater.

Photo by Jaime Incer, 1994.

The SW side of Concepción volcano has been affected by mass-wasting processes. This 1992 photo shows the effects of many rockfalls, small landslides, and slow-moving flows of ash and cinders on the west and south flanks. The SW gully has discharged a large amount of blocky and fine material since 1983, forming a fan (lower left) that by 1986 had engulfed and killed 500 sq m of mature forest. Areas as far away as hamlets above the village of San José (8 km SW of the crater) were affected, and some homes had to be abandoned.

Photo by Franco Penalba, 1992 (courtesy of Jaime Incer).

The dumbbell-shaped island of Ometepe, the largest in Lake Nicaragua (also known as Colcibolca), consists of two large stratovolcanoes, Concepción on the left and Maderas on the right. The two volcanoes were constructed on an unstable substrate of Tertiary-to-Cretaceous marine rocks and younger lake sediments, which has promoted spreading and deformation of the volcanic edifices. A low narrow isthmus connects Concepción to Maderas volcano. North lies to the upper left in this Space Shuttle image.

NASA Space Shuttle image STS081-742-25, 1997 (

The steep Volcán Concepción forms the center of the northeastern portion of Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua, shown in this March 2019 Planet Labs satellite image monthly mosaic (N is at the top; this image is approximately 24 km across). Deformation occurs due to the volcano forming on top of unstable lake sediments of mud and clay. Spatter cones, cinder cones, lava domes, and maars have formed across the flanks. Maderas volcano forms the SE side of the island, out of view here.

Satellite image courtesy of Planet Labs, 2019.
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