Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 25 February-3 March 2015
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 25 February-3 March 2015
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2015. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 25 February-3 March 2015. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
In a special notice, INSIVUMEH reported that an effusive eruption at Fuego that began on 28 February produced 300-400-m-high lava fountains. One lava flow traveled 1.6 km S down the Trinidad drainage and another traveled 600 m W down the Santa Teresa drainage. The eruption produced rumbling and train sounds audible up to 12 km away. Ash plumes rose 850-1,250 m above the crater and drifted 35 km W. Ashfall was reported in nearby areas including Panimache (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), and Santa Sofía (12 km SW). During 28 February-1 March explosions generated ash plumes that rose an average of 650 m and drifted 9-10 km W. Incandescent material was ejected 150 m above the crater, and a small lava flow (400 m long) descended the Trinidad drainage. INSIVUMEH noted that the effusive phase had ended at 2156 on 1 March. Ash plumes from explosions rose 550-750 m and drifted 10 km W on 2 March and SW on 3 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.