Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 9 August-15 August 2017
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 August-15 August 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, 9 August-15 August 2017. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
CONRED reported that during 8-9 August the lava flow that had descended Fuego’s Ceniza (SSW) drainage was still active, producing avalanches of material and emissions. Explosions generated ash plumes that rose 650 m above the crater. According to INSIVUMEH ash plumes from explosions during 11-12 and 14-15 August rose 650-850 m and drifted 7-8 km W and SW. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind including in Panimache (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), El Porvenir (8 km ENE), Yepocapa, and Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW). Incandescent material was ejected 100-150 m above the crater rim, and caused avalanches of material that traveled down multiple ravines.
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.