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Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — January 1990

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 15, no. 1 (January 1990)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Fuego (Guatemala) Strong gas plume extends several tens of kilometers from the summit crater

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1990. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: McClelland, L (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 15:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199001-342090.

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Fuego

Guatemala

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Geologists observed a vigorous and persistent gas plume that extended several tens of kilometers W from Fuego's summit crater during work at neighboring Acatenango on 6 January between 0900 and 1400. Frequent rock avalanches occurred in the upper parts of Barranca Honda, a steep E flank canyon.

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.

Information Contacts: S. Halsor, Wilkes Univ; C. Chesner, Eastern Illinois Univ.