Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 24 January-30 January 2007
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 January-30 January 2007
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 January-30 January 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Based on a pilot report and information from INSIVUMEH, the Washington VAAC reported that a diffuse plume from Fuego reached an altitude of 4 km (13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE. A hotspot over the crater was visible on satellite imagery. INSIVUMEH reported that approximately during 21-29 January, incandescent material was propelled up to 100 m above the summit and incandescent blocks rolled about 500 m S and SW down the flanks. During 26 and 29 January, incandescent blocks broke away from lava-flow fronts and rolled S towards the source of the Ceniza River.
Geologic Background. Volcán Fuego, one of Central America's most active volcanoes, is one of three large stratovolcanoes overlooking Guatemala's former capital, Antigua. The scarp of an older edifice, Meseta, lies between 3763-m-high Fuego and its twin volcano to the north, Acatenango. Construction of Meseta dates back to about 230,000 years and continued until the late Pleistocene or early Holocene. Collapse of Meseta may have produced the massive Escuintla debris-avalanche deposit, which extends about 50 km onto the Pacific coastal plain. Growth of the modern Fuego volcano followed, continuing the southward migration of volcanism that began at Acatenango. In contrast to the mostly andesitic Acatenango, eruptions at Fuego have become more mafic with time, and most historical activity has produced basaltic rocks. Frequent vigorous historical eruptions have been recorded since the onset of the Spanish era in 1524, and have produced major ashfalls, along with occasional pyroclastic flows and lava flows.