Report on Fuego (Guatemala) — 26 April-2 May 2023
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 April-2 May 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, 26 April-2 May 2023. 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 a range of 5-14 weak and moderate explosions per hour were recorded at Fuego during 26 April-2 May. The explosions generated ash plumes, weak to moderate rumbling sounds, and shockwaves that vibrated the roofs and windows of nearby houses. Ash plumes rose 1.1 km above the crater and sometimes dispersed as far as 15 km S, SW, SE, and W. Ash fall was reported in Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), El Porvenir (11 km SW), Finca La Asunción, La Rochela (8 km SSW), Finca Ceilán (9 km S), and San Andres Osuna. Incandescent material was ejected as high as 350 m above the crater almost daily. Weak and moderate avalanches descended multiple drainages including the Seca (W), Ceniza (SSW), Taniluyá (SW), Trinidad (S), Las Lajas (SE), Santa Teresa (ESE), and Honda (SE); sometimes reaching the edges of vegetation. In the evening on 27 April a weak-to-moderate lahar descended the Ceniza, a tributary of the Achiguate River, and consisted of fine-grain, hot material, branches, tree trunks, and blocks that ranged from 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.