Volcán Fuego, one of Central America's most active volcanoes, is one of three large stratovolcanoes overlooking Guatemala's former capital, Antigua. The scarp of an older edifice, Meseta, lies between 3763-m-high Fuego and its twin volcano to the north, Acatenango. 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 Acatenango. In contrast to 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.
Morning sun lights the upper SE flanks of the twin volcanoes of Fuego (left) and Acatenango (right), whose summits lie only 3 km apart along a N-S line. The modern Fuego volcano was constructed within a scarp left by collapse of the ancestral Mesata volcano, whose slopes appear to the right of the summit towards the saddle with Acatenango. In contrast to the dominantly andesitic Acatenango volcano, Fuego's activity has become more mafic with time, and historical eruptions have produced basaltic lava flows and tephras.
Photo by Lee Siebert, 1988 (Smithsonian Institution).
Last updated 2020-03-29 20:00:06
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