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The youngest highly explosive basaltic eruptions from Masaya Caldera in central western Nicaragua produced five main pyroclastic deposits: the San Antonio Tephra, La Concepción Tephra, the Masaya Triple Layer, and the Masaya Tuff with the Ti cuan-te pe Lapilli. This tephra sequence was deposited over the past ∼6000 yr. The distribution and physical characteristics of these deposits suggest they originated from the Masaya Caldera. They have volumes ranging from 0.2 km3 for La Concepción Tephra to 3.9 km3 for the Masaya Tuff and cover minimum areas of 600–1600 km2. All deposits formed by violent eruptions discharging 1011 to 1012 kg of magma, thus reaching eruption magnitudes between 4.3 and 5.9 and volcanic explosivity indices of 3–4. An analysis of hazards for the main population centers around the Masaya Caldera shows that, if there were a similar eruption today, the most vulnerable communities would be Ticuantepe, Nindirí, and Masaya. In addition, La Concepción, southwest of the caldera, and the capital Managua, more than 15 km to the northwest, could be affected.

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