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Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 8 March-14 March 2017


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
8 March-14 March 2017
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 March-14 March 2017. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (8 March-14 March 2017)



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

INSIVUMEH reported that six explosions and weak shockwaves were detected at Fuego on 9 March. Ash plumes rose 900 m and drifted S and SW. Ashfall was reported in Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), and Santa Cecilia. Avalanches of material traveled towards the Santa Teresa (W), Trinidad (S), and Las Lajas (SE) drainages. The number and intensity of explosions increased on 10 March. Ash plumes rose as high as 2.7 km and drifted more than 10 km W and SW. Ash fell in areas downwind including Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Finca Palo Verde, Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), and San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km N). During 11-14 March explosions produced ash plumes that rose 0.5-1 km and drifted 8-12 km NW, W, and SW. Ash fell in multiple areas including Panimaché I and II, Morelia, and Santa Sofía. Incandescent material was ejected as high as 200 m above the crater rim.

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)