Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — October 1979
Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 4, no. 10 (October 1979)
Managing Editor: David Squires..
Fuego (Guatemala) New crater high on S flank
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1979. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Squires, D. (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 4:10. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN197910-342090.
14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Activity was again limited to steaming from the summit crater and several other vents high on the flanks between late September and late October. Steaming was occasionally quite voluminous early in the reporting period, but had weakened considerably and was interspersed with periods of inactivity by late October. A clear view of the summit on 18 October revealed that a new crater had formed a short distance from two fissures seen the previous month.
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.