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Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 29 March-4 April 2023


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 March-4 April 2023
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2023. Report on Fuego (Guatemala) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 March-4 April 2023. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (29 March-4 April 2023)



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

INSIVUMEH reported that 4-12 explosions per hour recorded at Fuego during 29 March-4 April generated ash plumes that rose as high as 4.8 km above sea level (15,700 ft a.s.l.) and drifted at least 10 km W, NW, SE, SW. Weak to moderate rumbling accompanied the explosions, vibrating the roofs and windows of nearby houses. During the night and early morning incandescent material was ejected 100-200 m above the crater. Daily block avalanches descended all the flanks toward the Seca (W), Taniluya (SW), Ceniza (SSW), Trinidad (S), Las Lajas (SE), El Jute (ESE), Honda (E), and Santa Teresa drainages, sometimes reaching vegetated areas. Some avalanches resuspended ash to 100 m high. Ashfall was reported almost daily in areas downwind including Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Finca Asunción, Yepocapa (8 km NW), La Rochela, El Porvenir (8 km ENE), Finca Palo Verde, Aldeas, Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), Quisaché, and Ojo de Agua.

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)