Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 7 January-13 January 2015
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 January-13 January 2015
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2015. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 January-13 January 2015. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 8-13 January INSIVUMEH reported that activity at Fuego continued at a high rate; explosions generated ash plumes that rose 550-950 m above the crater and drifted 10-15 km W and SW. Incandescent blocks traveled mainly down the Ceniza (SSW), Santa Teresa (W), and Las Lajas (SE) drainages and reached vegetated areas, generating small fires. Ashfall was reported in Panimache I and II (8 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), and areas in the municipality of San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km NW). During 10-13 January explosions ejected incandescent tephra 100-200 m above the crater causing avalanches in the Taniluya (SSW), Ceniza, and Trinidad (S) drainages.
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.