Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 1 November-7 November 2017
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 November-7 November 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, 1 November-7 November 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 during 2-3 November tremor at Fuego increased. Explosions (6-8 per hour) generated ash plumes that rose as high as 1.3 km above the crater and drifted 15 km W and SW. During 4-5 November there were 5-8 explosions per hour producing ash plumes that rose 1.2 km and drifted 10-15 km W and SW. Incandescent material was ejected 300 m above the crater, causing avalanches that were confined to the crater. The 11th effusive eruption phase in 2017 began on 5 November. Lava flowed 1-1.2 km W down the Seca drainage and 800 m SSW down the Ceniza drainage. Avalanches of material from the ends of the lava flows descended the flanks and reached vegetated areas. About 6-8 explosions per hour generated ash plumes that rose as high as 1.1 km and drifted 10-15 km W and SW. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind including Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), and El Porvenir. The effusive phase ended on 7 November.
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.