Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 21 March-27 March 2007
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
21 March-27 March 2007
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 March-27 March 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Based on satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that a small plume from Fuego drifted E on 21 March. During 21-22, 24, and 26-27 March, INSIVUMEH reported that explosions produced gas-and-ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4.7-5.1 km (15,400-16,700 ft) a.s.l. Ashfall was reported from areas 5-8 km SSE and 9 km W. On 24 March, explosions were followed by lava blocks rolling down the W flank toward the Taniluyá River valley and gas emissions. Resultant plumes drifted 15 km SW. Similar activity on 26 March caused ashfall in areas 10-25 km away to the W and SE. On 27 March, the Washington VAAC reported that another small plume was visible on satellite imagery drifting W.
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.