Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 1 January-7 January 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
1 January-7 January 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 January-7 January 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Based on analyses of satellite images, the Washington VAAC reported that on 30 December 2013 an ash plume from Fuego drifted almost 30 km NW. INSIVUMEH reported that during 2-3 and 5-7 January 2014 explosions generated shock waves, ejected incandescent material as high as 250 m, and produced ash plumes that rose 300-700 m and drifted 7-12 km W and SW. Ashfall was reported in Panimache (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), and Sofía I and II (12 km SW). Avalanches descended the Ceniza (SSW), Trinidad (S), Taniluya (SW), Las Lajas (SE), and Honda drainages.
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.