Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 24 June-30 June 2015
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 June-30 June 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, 24 June-30 June 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 report from 28 June at 2100, INSIVUMEH reported that activity at Fuego had been changing during the previous few hours, characterized by 4-5 explosions per hour and ash plumes rising 850 m. During 28-30 June ash plumes drifted W, causing ashfall in areas downwind. Shock waves from the explosions vibrated structures in areas including Panimache and Panimache II (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), and Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW). Block avalanches descended the flanks. Rumbling was audible as far as 25 km away. During 29-30 June a 300-m-long lava flow was visible in the Las Lajas drainage on the SE flank.
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.