Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 20 June-26 June 2012
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
20 June-26 June 2012
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2012. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 June-26 June 2012. 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 21-22 June weather conditions often prevented views of Fuego, however incandescence was observed emanating 150 m above the crater and an explosion produced an ash plume that rose 400 m. A lava flow traveled 1.3 km SSW down the Ceniza drainage and started a fire in a wooded area. Almost constant degassing on 21 June was heard at the Observatorio del Volcán de Fuego (OVFGO) and detected by the seismic network. During 24-26 June explosions generated ash plumes that rose 200-500 m above the crater. Incandescence from the crater was observed and block avalanches descended the flanks.
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.