Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 11 December-17 December 2013
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 December-17 December 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, 11 December-17 December 2013. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
In a special report INSIVUMEH noted that activity at Fuego had increased on 15 December. Lava flows were 500 m long in the Ceniza drainage (SSW), and their emission rate rate had increased. Blocks from lava-flow fronts reached vegetated areas. Six to eight explosions per hour produced ash plumes that rose 550 m and drifted 8 km. The explosions generated shock waves and rattled buildings in nearby villages. The next day lava flows were 600 m long in the Ceniza drainage. Explosions generated ash plumes that rose 450 m and drifted W and SW.
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.