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Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — May 1987


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 12, no. 5 (May 1987)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Fuego (Guatemala) Earthquake swarm; deformation; vapor plume

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1987. Report on Fuego (Guatemala) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 12:5. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198705-342090



14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

About 78 microearthquakes were recorded at Fuego station (FG3), 5 km [SE] of the summit, between 1300 and 1500 on 8 June. Residents of the area reported that they did not feel any earthquakes. An electronic tiltmeter at the seismic station measured 8 microradians of deformation. On 10 June, a white vapor column was observed emerging from the crater.

Geological Summary. 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.

Information Contacts: E. Sánchez, INSIVUMEH.