Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 27 February-5 March 2013
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 27 February-5 March 2013
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 27 February-5 March 2013. 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 28 February-1 March explosions from Fuego produced ash plumes that rose less than 250 m and lava flows traveled 300 m S down the Trinidad drainage. Activity increased on 3 March characterized by Strombolian explosions, and lava flows that traveled 1.3 km down the Trinidad drainage and 200 m SW down the Taniluya drainage. Ash plumes rose almost 350 m above the crater and drifted 10 km S. The eruption ended the next day, after 52 hours of activity. White and blue fumarolic plumes rose from the crater. During 4-5 March incandescence 100 m above the crater was observed, and ash plumes rose 200 m and drifted E. Avalanches descended the Taniluya drainage.
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.