Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 28 August-3 September 2013
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 28 August-3 September 2013
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 28 August-3 September 2013. 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 during 28-31 August explosions from Fuego generated ash plumes that rose 450-550 m and drifted 8-10 km W and NW. During 28-29 August incandescent material was ejected 150 m high, and white plumes rose 350 m and drifted NW. During 30-31 August rumbling was heard 15 km away. Lava flows 200 m long were active in the Trinidad drainage on the S flank and produced avalanches. In a special bulletin on 2 September, INSIVUMEH reported that a series of pyroclastic flows descended the Ceniza (SSW) drainage, reaching the base of the volcano. Ash plumes rose 3 km and drifted E, S, W, and NW. During the night lava from the crater flowed 300-400 m down the Ceniza drainage. Explosions were heard, but cloud cover prevented observations through the morning of 3 September.
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.