Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 12 February-18 February 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 February-18 February 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, 12 February-18 February 2014. 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 13-14 February explosions at Fuego produced ash plumes that rose 500-1,000 m above the crater and drifted 8-10 km N and NE. Incandescent material was ejected 200 m high, and avalanches descended the Ceniza (SSW), Trinidad, Las Lajas (SE), and Honda drainages. On 16 February explosions produced ash plumes that rose 500-700 m above the crater and drifted 10 km SW, S, and SE. Shock waves were detected 20-25 km away in Escuintla (20 km SSE), Santa Lucia Cotzulmaguapa (20 km SW), Yepocapa (8 km WNW), Alotengando (8 km W), and Antigua Guatemala (18 km NE). Explosions continued during 16-17 February; ash plumes rose 300-1,100 m above the crater and drifted 15-17 km. Incandescent material was ejected 100-200 m high, and avalanches descended the Taniluyá (SW), Ceniza, Trinidad, and Santa Teresa (S) drainages, reaching vegetated areas.
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.