Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 9 July-15 July 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 July-15 July 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, 9 July-15 July 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 30 June-14 July, INSIVUMEH frequently reported a white fumarolic plume rising from Fuego’s summit extending up to 4,000 m (13,123 ft) a.s.l.. Weak-to-moderate explosions generated ash plumes to similar heights during 30 June and 1, 4, 6, 7, and 9-13 July. Rumbling and jetting sounds often accompanied these explosions, often with durations of 1-5 minutes. Pulses of incandescence reached 50-100 m above the rim on 30 June, and 6, 7, and 12 July. Remobilized ash reduced visibility on 4, 9, and 10 July. Surges of lava and incandescent avalanches traveled from the summit down the flanks on 1 July (~150 m into the Trinidad drainage), 6 July (100 m into Taniluya and 200 m into the Ceniza), 11 July (~100 m into Taniluya), 12 July (Santa Teresa, Taniluya, Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas, and Honda), and 13 July (~400 m into the Ceniza).
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.