Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 7 June-13 June 2017
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 June-13 June 2017
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 June-13 June 2017. 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 8-9 June explosions at Fuego generated ash plumes that rose as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim and drifted 15 km W, NW, and N. Rumbling was noted, and block avalanches descended multiple ravines. Lahars traveled down several ravines on the SE, S, and SW flanks, especially down the Pantaleón (W) ravine. On 10 June at 1150 a lahar descended the Ceniza (SSW) drainage, carrying blocks 1 m in diameter. The lahar was 15-18 m wide and as deep as 3 m. During 10-11 June explosions produced ash plumes that rose 750-1,050 m and drifted 12-15 km W, NW, and N. Shock waves from some of the explosions were detected. Two hot lahars descended the flanks on 13 June. The first one traveled down the Pantaleón river and was 35 m wide and 2.5-3 m deep, and carried trees and blocks 2-3 m in diameter. The second lahar descended the Ceniza and was 25 m wide and 3 m deep, and carried blocks up to 2 m in diameter.
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.