Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 9 November-15 November 2022
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
9 November-15 November 2022
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2022. Report on Fuego (Guatemala). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 November-15 November 2022. 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 5-12 explosions per hour were recorded at Fuego during 9-15 November, generating daily ash plumes that rose as high as 4.5-4.8 km above the crater rim. The ash plumes drifted as far as 10-15 km S, SE, E, NE, SW, and W, causing fine ashfall in areas downwind, including Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), La Asunción, La Rochela, Ceilán, San Andrés Osuna, El Rodeo, Ceylén, Santa Sofía (12 km SW), El Porvenir (8 km ENE), Finca Palo Verde, Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), and Yepocapa (8 km NW). The explosions generated weak and moderate rumbling that vibrated the roofs and windows of nearby houses. Daily block avalanches descended the Seca (W), Taniluyá (SW), Ceniza (SSW), Trinidad (S), Las Lajas (SE), Honda, Santa Teresa, and El Jute (ESE) drainages, often reaching vegetated areas. The avalanches uplifted fine material 200 m high that dispersed to the S and SW. Explosions ejected incandescent material as high as 400 m above the summit. Weak crater incandescence was observed accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions. On 9 November lahars were generated in the Las Lajas and Ceniza drainages, which carried branches, tree trunks, and blocks 30 cm to 1.5 m in diameter.
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.