Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 18 June-24 June 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 June-24 June 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 June-24 June 2014. 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 18-24 June, 7-23 explosions occurred per day at Fuego, generating weak-to-moderate ash plumes to 3,900-4,400 m (12,800-14,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifting with prevailing winds. The explosions during 17-18, 22, and 24 June were accompanied by rumbling sounds, some resembling jet engines that persisted for 1-5 minutes. Small avalanches occurred within the crater and local drainages due to explosion shockwaves on 19 June.
Fine ashfall from explosions on 18-19 June was reported in towns within 15 km of the summit, mainly El Porvenir (8 km ENE), Los Yucales (12 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Morelia (10 km SW), and Panimaché (I and II, ~8 km SW). Additionally, ashfall was reported in Sangre de Cristo on 18 June. During 20, 22, and 24 June, incandescence from the summit reached 100-150 m above the crater rim and formed weak avalanches in the immediate summit area. Fumarolic activity continued during 18-24 June, generating white plumes rising to less than 4,200 m (13,800 ft) a.s.l.
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.