Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 6 August-12 August 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 6 August-12 August 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, 6 August-12 August 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 6-12 August, INSIVUMEH reported weak to moderate explosions at Fuego with incandescent blocks being expelled 500-800 m above the crater accompanied by ash that rose 300-400 m above the crater and drifted W and produced rumbling from shock waves that rattled structures up to 8 km from the volcano. On most days, incandescent blocks were expelled 100-200 m above the crater and weak to moderate avalanches of blocks were channeled into the canyons Las Lajas (SE), Trinidad (S), Ceniza (SSW), Taniluyá (SW) and Barranca Honda. Dark gray to white plumes rose 4.0-4.6 km (13,100-15,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 8-15 km W and SW. Ashfall was reported in villages of Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché (8 km SW), Panimaché II, Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), Yepocapa (8 km WNW), Hagia Sophia, and around the Observatory. On 6-8 August Washington VAAC reported ongoing emissions and on 7 August an ash plume rose to 4.5 km (15000 ft) a.s.l.
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.