Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 27 June-3 July 2007
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 27 June-3 July 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, 27 June-3 July 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
INSIVUMEH reported that on 27 June, a new 100-m-long lava flow from Fuego was observed that somewhat paralleled the previous flow from March/April 2007. The older lava flow on the S flank continued to advance and produce incandescent blocks that rolled W into the Taniluyá River valley. On 29 June, pyroclastic explosions propelled material about 75 m above the crater. Seven explosions produced whitish plumes to an altitude of about 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S.
According to CONRED, INSIVUMEH reported on 1 July that during a Strombolian eruption, lava was propelled 200-300 m above the summit. Resulting lava flows traveled about 800 and 1,300 m to the W. Rumbling sounds were heard and shockwaves rattled windows in near by villages. Ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3.9 km (12,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. Multiple pyroclastic flows traveled 1.3-2 km to the W. Based on the report, CONRED raised the Alert Level to Orange in surrounding communities.
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.