Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 11 March-17 March 2015
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
11 March-17 March 2015
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2015. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 March-17 March 2015. 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 10-11 March the magnitude and number of explosions at Fuego increased, producing ash plumes that rose 650-950 m above the crater and drifted 12 km W, NW, and N. Shock waves from explosions were detected in nearby areas including Panimache I and II (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), and San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km NW). During 12-13 March explosions generated ash plumes that rose 800 m and drifted 10-12 km S and SW. Incandescent tephra was ejected 100 m high. During 15-16 March ash plumes from explosions rose 550-950 m and drifted 10-12 km WSW; shock waves were reported and ash fell in Panimache, Morelia, 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.