Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 6 June-12 June 2012
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 6 June-12 June 2012
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2012. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 6 June-12 June 2012. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
INSIVUMEH reported that on 6 June lahars descended Fuego's El Jute (SE), Las Lajas (SE), Ceniza (SSW), Santa Teresa (S), and Taniluyá (SW) drainages, and destroyed roads in Yepocapa (8 km WNW). During 6-7 June explosions produced ash plumes that rose 200-500 m above the crater and drifted N, and 12 km S and SW. Lava flows on the SE flank were about 800-900 m long in the Las Lajas drainage, 600 m long in the El Jute drainage, and 250 m long on the SW flank, and produced blocks that rolled and reached vegetated areas. The explosions were accompanied by rumbling sounds and shock waves that were detected in areas 10 km away, including Panimaché and Morelia (~8 km SW).
During 10-11 June an ash plume rose 1.5 km above the crater and drifted 15 km W and NW. Ashfall was reported in Panimaché I and II, Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), Yepocápa, and other villages nearby. Lava flows traveled 1.6 km down Taniluyá drainage, 1 km down the Ceniza drainage, and 1.5 km down Las Lajas. Pyroclastic flows descended Las Lajas. During 11-12 June explosions generated ash plumes that rose 300 m above the crater and drifted W. Lava flows traveled 300 m down the Taniluyá drainage. Incandescence rose 100 m.
Geologic Background. 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.