Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — March 1977
Natural Science Event Bulletin, vol. 2, no. 3 (March 1977)
Managing Editor: David Squires.
Fuego (Guatemala) Steam plume from a S-flank vent
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1977. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Squires, D (ed.), Natural Science Event Bulletin, 2:3. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.NSEB197703-342090.
14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 3 March, a steam plume was emitted for 5-10 minutes from a vent about 200 m below the summit crater on the S flank. The plume first appeared to be dust-colored then turned white. About 2 weeks earlier, road workers on the N flank had reported a small saline brook originating below the summit crater.
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: P. Newton, Antigua.