Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 17 November-23 November 2004
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
17 November-23 November 2004
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2004. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 17 November-23 November 2004. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During the report period, avalanches of incandescent volcanic material continued towards the Lajas and Taniluyá ravines on the volcano's SE and SW flanks. Small and moderate explosions expelled abundant incandescent lava to heights ~150 m above the crater. Some explosions generated rumblings, shock waves, and fine ash that was deposited on the skirts of the volcano. Near the end of the report period, the energy level of the eruption lowered, especially the flow of lava towards the Lajas ravine.
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.