Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 23 January-29 January 2002
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 January-29 January 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 January-29 January 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Observations in late January revealed that Fuego was erupting a lava flow down its E flank. The flow stretched several hundred meters below the summit before falling apart on steep slopes. The toe of the flow calved off about once a minute, but the volume of material was not sufficient to generate pyroclastic flows. No explosive activity was observed and only low-level tremor was recorded. Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres (CONRED) and INSIVUMEH are monitoring the situation at the volcano.
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.
Source: US Geological Survey