Volcán Masaya in Nicaragua is made of a series of calderas and craters that lies 7 km from the city of Masaya with a population of over 100,000. Masaya is part of the Central American Volcanic Arc (CAVA) which contains hundreds of volcanoes. While many of the volcanoes of the arc produce small, quiescent eruptions, some are capable of large explosive events. The recent cycle of volcanism at Masaya began 7000 years ago. Initial eruptions were primarily lava, small ash flows, ashfalls, and degassing events which eventually gave way to climactic Vulcanian eruptions. The hazards presented from this system affect not only larger cities, but many underdeveloped communities surrounding Volcán Masaya. These communities require a simple map and action plan to use during an evacuation. While government-issued routes are in place, there are no known secondary options. The communities surrounding Masaya lack the education they need for having such a fierce geologic feature right in their backyard to base their own opinions on when and if to evacuate the area on their own accord. We visited the study area to gather data for the creation of an evacuation route and hazard map to help prepare the surrounding communities. By consolidating our research and field data, the maps we created give the communities surrounding Masaya more insight as to the behavior of the eruptions. This research gives the local population options for evacuation and more knowledge about their environment.
Hedges, Rebecca; McDermaid, Stevie; Kaiser, Jason; Maxwell, David; and Matthews, Kathy
"Using GIS to Create Hazard Maps and Assess Evacuation Routes around “The Gate to Hell”; Masaya Volcano, Nicaragua,"
The Compass: Earth Science Journal of Sigma Gamma Epsilon:
1, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/compass/vol91/iss1/2