Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 19 September-25 September 2018
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
19 September-25 September 2018
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2018. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 September-25 September 2018. 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 20-21 and 24-25 September explosions at Fuego generated ash plumes that rose almost as high as 1 km above the crater and drifted 12 km W and SW. Incandescent material was ejected 150 m above the crater rim, and caused avalanches of material within the crater area. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind including Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), Finca Palo Verde, Panimaché (8 km SW), and San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km NW). On 25 September hot, steaming lahars descended the El Jute (SE) and Las Lajas (SE) drainages, carrying blocks up to 2 m in diameter, and branches and tree trunks.
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.