Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 26 April-2 May 2017
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 April-2 May 2017
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 April-2 May 2017. 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 beginning at 1700 on 24 April a hot lahar descended Fuego’s Río Ceniza (SSW) drainage, carrying blocks 2 m in diameter, branches, and tree trunks. The lahar was heard up to 1 km away. During 29 April-2 May explosions generated ash plumes that rose as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim and drifted as far as15 km W and SW. Some of the explosions produced shock waves felt within a 10-km radius. Ash fell in Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW) and possibly other areas. Incandescent material was ejected as high as 200 m above the crater rim.
Geologic Background. Volcán Fuego, one of Central America's most active volcanoes, is also one of three large stratovolcanoes overlooking Guatemala's former capital, Antigua. The scarp of an older edifice, Meseta, lies between Fuego and Acatenango to the north. 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 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.