Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 8 January-14 January 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 January-14 January 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 January-14 January 2014. 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 reported that on 7 January seismicity at Fuego increased. Explosions generated shock waves that vibrated structures more than 15 km away, and rumbling noises were audible 30 km away. Ash plumes rose 4.2 km above the crater and drifted 10 km SW. Lava flowed 500 m down the SW flank and produced avalanches that reached vegetated areas. During 9-10 January Vulcanian explosions generated shock waves detected within 10 km, ejected pulses of incandescent material 100 m high, and produced ash plumes that rose 300 m and drifted 10 km NE. Avalanches descended the Ceniza (SSW), Trinidad (S), and Taniluya (SW) drainages, and lava flows continued to descend the flanks. During 10-11 January explosions produced shock waves, and ash plumes that rose 650 m and drifted S, SW, and W. Crater incandescence was observed at night. During 12-13 January explosions caused shock waves that vibrated structures in Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Ceilán, La Rochela, and San Andrés Osuna. Ash plumes rose 350-650 m and drifted 10 km SW and W. Incandescent material was ejected 200 m above the crater and avalanches descended the Taniluya, Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas (SE), and Honda (E) drainages. A 200-m-long lava flow traveled down the Trinidad drainage. Seismicity remained high on 13 January. Ashfall was reported in Panimaché, Morelia, and Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW). A 500-m-long lava flow remained active in the Ceniza drainage. On 14 January explosions generated shock waves audible 8 km away, ejected incandescent material 150 m high, and produced ash plumes that rose 300-800 m and drifted 8 km W and SW. Avalanches again descended multiple flanks. Ash fell in Santa Sofía, Panimaché, Morelia, and Sangre de Cristo.
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.