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Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

First Advisor

William I Rose


Maderas volcano is a small, andesitic stratovolcano located on the island of Ometepe, in Lake Nicaragua, Nicaragua with no record of historic activity. Twenty-one samples were collected from lava flows from Maderas in 2010. Selected samples were analyzed for whole-rock geochemical data using ICP-AES and/or were dated using the 40Ar/39Ar method. The results of these analyses were combined with previously collected data from Maderas as well as field observations to determine the eruptive history of the volcano and create a geologic map. The results of the geochemical analyses indicate that Maderas is a typical Central American andesitic volcano similar to other volcanoes in Nicaragua and Costa Rica and to its nearest neighbor, Concepción volcano. It is different from Concepción in one important way – higher incompatible elements. Determined age dates range from 176.8 ± 6.1 ka to 70.5 ± 6.1 ka. Based on these ages and the geomorphology of the volcano which is characterized by a bisecting graben, it is proposed that Maderas experienced two clear generations of development with three separate phases of volcanism: initial build-up of the older cone, pre-graben lava flows, and post-graben lava flows. The ages also indicate that Maderas is markedly older than Concepción which is historically active. Results were also analyzed regarding geologic hazards. The 40Ar/39Ar ages indicate that Maderas has likely been inactive for tens of thousands of years and the risk of future volcanic eruptions is low. However, earthquake, lahar and landslide hazards exist for the communities around the volcano. The steep slopes of the eroded older cone are the most likely source of landslide and lahar hazards.