Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 26 November-2 December 2003
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
26 November-2 December 2003
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 November-2 December 2003. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 28 November to 1 December, moderate-to-weak explosions at Fuego produced gas-and-ash plumes to heights of 700-900 m above the volcano. The explosions were accompanied by avalanches of volcanic material that traveled towards Teresa, Taniluyá, and Trinidad ravines. On the evening of 1 December, incandescence was seen in the ravines and in the active central crater. During the report period, continuous harmonic tremor was recorded.
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.