Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 4 September-10 September 2013
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 September-10 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, 4 September-10 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 4-6 September explosions from Fuego generated ash plumes that rose 800-850 m and drifted 10-12 km W and SW. Block avalanches descended the Ceniza (SSW) drainage. During 5-6 September explosions produced shock waves that rattled structures in villages 10 km away.
On 6 September the number and magnitude of explosions increased; rumbling and shock waves were reported 12 km away. Ash plumes rose 750 m and drifted 10 km W and SW. During 7-10 September explosions generated ash plumes that rose 250-400 m; plumes drifted 7 km W and NW on 7 September. Incandescent material was ejected 100 m high and then formed small avalanches. On 9 September heavy rain was followed by lahars in the Las Lajas and El Jute drainages which carried blocks 2 m in diameter. During 9-10 September ash plumes drifted 6 km E and SE.
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.