Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 13 March-19 March 2013
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 13 March-19 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, 13 March-19 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 13-18 March explosions from Fuego produced ash plumes that rose as high as 4.5 km above the crater, and drifted SW, W, NW, and NE, as far as 12 km. Explosions sometimes ejected incandescent material, generated rumbling noises, and produced shock waves. During 13-14 March ash fell in Panimache I and II (8 km SW) and shock waves vibrated structures. Ash again fell in the Panimache villages as well as in Morelia (9 km SW) during 14-15 March. Avalanches traveled SSW down the Ceniza drainage during 16-19 March.
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.