Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 2 September-8 September 2015
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
2 September-8 September 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, 2 September-8 September 2015. 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 1-2 September activity at Fuego was characterized by lava fountains, explosions, and ashfall in surrounding areas. Pyroclastic flows descended the flanks. An ash plume rose 1.3 km above the crater and drifted 15 km W. Ashfall was reported in San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km N) and Chimaltenango (21 km NNE), and in the communities of Panimaché (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), and Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW). Activity decreased by the afternoon of 2 September; remnants of three lava flows were visible in the Santa Teresa (S), Trinidad (S) and Las Lajas (SE) drainages. Weak explosions during 4-5 September generated ash plumes that rose 450 m and drifted 7 km W and SE.
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.