Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 30 May-5 June 2012
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 May-5 June 2012
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2012. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 May-5 June 2012. 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 1 June hot lahars traveled SE down Fuego's Las Lajas and El Jute drainages carrying blocks 2 m in diameter. During 3-5 June explosions produced ash plumes that rose 500-1,000 m above the crater and drifted W and S. Pulses of incandescence from the crater was observed as well as avalanches on the W flank. Lava flows traveled 700 m down Taniluyá Canyon drainage and 1 km down Las Lajas. During 4-5 June seismicity increased and the lava flow in Las Lajas reached 1.2 km long. Explosions produced ash plumes that rose 600-800 m above the crater and drifted 7 km SW. Shock waves were detected up to 7 km away.
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.