Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 4 November-10 November 2015
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 November-10 November 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, 4 November-10 November 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 5-6 and 8-10 November explosions at Fuego generated ash plumes that rose 550-750 m above the crater and drifted 10-15 km S and SE. Ashfall was reported in Panimache I and II (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), and El Porvenir (8 km ENE), and Sangre de Cristo. Incandescent material was ejected 200 m high and produced avalanches that descended the Santa Teresa, Trinidad, and Las Lajas (S) drainages. During 8-9 November a new lava flow traveled 1.5 km down the Las Lajas and El Jute (SE) drainages. By 10 November the lava flow was 2.5 km long. Incandescent material was ejected 300 m high, and ashfall was reported in Panimache I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofia, El Porvenir, Sangre de Cristo and the municipality of San Pedro Yepocapa. Later that evening pyroclastic flows descended the E flank. Ash fell in multiple areas including Morelia, Santa Sofía, el Porvenir, Panimache II, Sangre de Cristo, San Pedro Yepocapa, Rochela, Ceilán, San Andrés Osuna, El Zapote, Siquinala, Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa, Mazatenango, Patulul, and Cocales.
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.