Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 12 July-18 July 2017
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
12 July-18 July 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, 12 July-18 July 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 multiple explosions at Fuego during 13-14 July generated ash plumes that rose as high as 950 m above the crater and drifted 8-10 km NW and W. Incandescent material was ejected 100 m above the crater rim, and caused avalanches of material that traveled down the Ceniza (SSW), Taniluyá (SW), and Trinidad (S) drainages. On 16 July a 30-m-wide, 2-m-deep, hot lahar descended tributaries of the Pantaleón (W) drainage, carrying blocks more than 2 m in diameter, branches, and tree trunks. The lahars again overtook the road between communities on the SW flank, isolating the village of Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW) and the Palo Verde estate. Vulcanian explosions during 17-18 July produced dense ash plumes that rose almost 1 km above the crater rim and drifted 15 km W and NW. Ash fell in Panimache (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), and Santa Sofía (12 km SW).
Geological Summary. 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.