Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 3 June-9 June 2015
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 June-9 June 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, 3 June-9 June 2015. 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 4-5 June Strombolian activity at Fuego ejected incandescent material 300 m above the crater. Gray plumes rose 1.1 km and drifted 14 km S and SW; ashfall was reported in communities within 11 km, including Panimaché l and ll, Morelia, Sangre de Cristo, and areas in Yepocapa. Lava flows traveled 600 and 1,200 m down the Santa Teresa and Trinidad drainages, respectively. Avalanches of material from the lava-flow fronts descended the drainages. In a special report from 6 June, INSIVUMEH noted that after 30 hours the period of Strombolian activity had ended. Three lava flows, 600, 700, and 1,300 m in length, were no longer active. The report noted that this episode was the fourth for the year. Deformation to the crater had occurred, with two cinder cones visible from several areas. During 6-7 June white plumes rose 150 m and drifted 10 km S and SW. Pulses of incandescence rose 100 m. Explosions during 7-8 June produced ash plumes that rose 750 m and drifted W and S. Ashfall was recorded in areas within a distance of 10 km.
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.