Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 6 July-12 July 2016
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
6 July-12 July 2016
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2016. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 6 July-12 July 2016. 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 7-10 July there were 6-8 explosions per hour at Fuego, generating ash plumes that rose as high as 950 m above the crater and drifted W and NW. Ash fell in Yepocapa (8 km N), Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), Panimache (8 km SW), and other nearby areas. Some explosions generated shock waves, and incandescent material was ejected 150 m high. There were 18 explosions detected during 11-12 July; ash plumes rose as high as 850 m and drifted more than 10 km W and 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.