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Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — January 1987


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 12, no. 1 (January 1987)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Fuego (Guatemala) Incandescent tephra

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1987. Report on Fuego (Guatemala) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 12:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198701-342090



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

In early January, incandescent tephra ejection was visible from Antigua, 18 km NE. Some tremor may have been associated with the January activity. Only block ejection and increased fumarolic activity were reported in early February. Fuego's last reported eruption began in September 1977 and continued through mid-l979. Moderate explosions fed tephra columns and small pyroclastic flows; a summit lava dome formed and lava flowed down the upper flanks.

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: Dorothea Newton, Antigua, Guatemala; E. Sánchez, INSIVUMEH; Norman Banks and Michael Doukas, USGS.