Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 31 October-6 November 2012
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 31 October-6 November 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, 31 October-6 November 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 during 1-2 November white fumarolic plumes from Fuego rose 100 m and drifted SW. Explosions ejected incandescent material 100 m above the lava dome, and produced ash plumes that rose almost 500 m and drifted 10 km SW. A lava flow traveled 350 m SSW down the Ceniza drainage. On 3 November heavy rain caused lahars that traveled down the Ceniza drainage, carrying tree branches and 2-m-wide blocks. During 3-6 November explosions generate ash plumes that rose 150-450 m and drifted W and NW. Incandescent material was ejected 100 m above the crater and generated avalanches near the crater. A lava flow traveled 600-800 m down the Ceniza drainage, producing incandescent block avalanches that reached vegetated areas.
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.