Sunday, 1 November 2015

Eruptions on Mount Fuego, Guatemala.

The Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia in Guatemala has reported a series of small eruptions on Mount Fuego a stratovolcano (cone shaped volcano made up of layers of ash and lava) that forms part of La Horqueta volcanic complex in the southern part of the country. These began on Wednesday 21-Thursday 22 October 2015 with a seres of small explosions which generated plumes rising 350-650 m above the summit of the volcano, and were followed by the production of a lava flow that ran to the west. On 25-26 October sharp increase in seismic activity (small Earthquakes) was recorded beneath the volcano, followed by a series of lava plumes that reached 200 m in height and led to lava flows running up to 850 m to the south. On 27 October a series of eruptions produced a plume that rose 1 km above the summit of the volcano, as well as lava fountains reaching 300 m and lava flows 1.5 km to the south of the caldera.

Plume emerging from Mount Feugo on 21 October 2015. Le Chaudron de Vulcain.

Fuego has been more-or-less constantly active at some level since records in the area began (circa 1524). It forms part of La Horqueta volcanic complex, which also includes the Acatenango volcano to the north, a complex volcano with at least five separate vents, the complex siting on the site of the ancient Meseta volcano, which is thought to have collapsed following a major volcanic episode about 8500 years ago, causing a debris flow that reached the sea, 50 km away.

The approximate location of Mount Fuego. Google Maps.

The volcanoes of Guatemala, and Central America in general, are fed by the subduction of the Cocos Plate beneath the Caribbean Plate along the Middle American Trench, which runs roughly parallel to the southwest coast of the isthmus. As the Cocos Plate sinks into the Earth, it passes under Central America, which lies on the western margin of the Caribbean Plate. As this happens it is heated by the friction and the heat of the planet's interior, causing the sinking plate to partially melt. Some of the melted material then rises through the overlying Caribbean Plate as magma, fueling the volcanoes of Central America.

See also...

Twenty-six people have been confirmed dean and another thirty-six people are known to have been injured following a landslide which struck the town of Santa Catarina Pinula in southern Guatemala late...


The United States Geological Survey Recorded a Magnitude 4.3 Earthquake at a depth of 78 km in the west of Esculinta Department in southern Guatemala...


The Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia in Guatemala has ordered an evacuation of communities close to Mount Fuego, an active volcano in the south of the country...


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