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Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 10 September-16 September 2014


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
10 September-16 September 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, 10 September-16 September 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (10 September-16 September 2014)



14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 10-16 September INSIVUMEH reported that white fumarolic plumes rose 200-600 m above Fuego’s summit. Variable explosions generated ash plumes 500-1,00 m above the summit; during 24-hour periods there were daily counts of 28, 32, 21, 12, 0, 8, and 11. The lava flow was active within the Ceniza drainage (SSW) on 13 September and had extended 100 m.

Moderate rumbling was heard and shockwaves caused roofs to shake on some houses near the volcano. On 10-13, 15, and 16 September incandescent plumes were observed 100-200 m above the crater.

Weak avalanches were frequently channeled into the drainages of Ceniza, Trinidad (S), Taniluyá (SW), Santa Teresa (W), Las Lajas (SE), and Honda (E) during 10-16 September.

During 10-13 and 15 September fine gray ash from explosions fell over the areas of Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Morelia (10 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), and others. During 14 September ashfall was reported in Yepocapa (8 km WNW), Panimaché, Sangre de Cristo, Morelia, and others. During 16 September ashfall was reported in Alotenango (8 km ENE), Antigua (18 km NE), Ciudad Vieja (13.5 km NE), and other areas.

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.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)