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Santa Maria,city (1990 pop. 61,284), Santa Barbara co., S Calif., near San Luis Obispo Bay; founded 1874 as Central City, renamed 1882, inc. 1905. A growing city, it has an economy based largely on agriculture (vegetables, grain, avocados, fruit, and cattle) and oil. Manufacturing plants produce machinery, electronic components, and telephone apparatus. Vandenberg Air Force Base is nearby.
Santa Maria(sän`tə mərē`ə), city (1991 pop. 217,592), Rio Grande do Sul state, S Brazil. It is a major railroad terminus and the site of an important military base. Foodstuffs and rail machinery are produced. Santa Maria was established in 1797.
Santa María(sän`tä märē`ä), active volcano, 12,375 ft (3,772 m) high, SW Guatemala, in the Sierra Madre near the city of Quetzaltenango. Its eruption in 1902 was one of the largest of the 20th cent., killing more than 5,000 people and devastating much of SW Guatemala; the catastrophic eruption created a .9 mi (1.5 km) crater on Santa María's SW slope. Eruptions that began in 1922 led to the formation of Santiaguito, a large lava dome complex at the base of the crater. There has been continual eruptive activity since then, with major eruptions and pyroclastic flows at times.
a city in southern Brazil, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Population, 124,900 (1970). Santa Maria is a transportation junction and the commercial center for an agricultural region that raises cattle and grows grain and fruit. It has railroad repair shops and enterprises for the production of beer, meat, and leather. Coal is mined in the surrounding region.