Title

Seismicity and Eruptive Activity of Fuego Volcano, Guatemala: February 1975 - January 1977

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-1984

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1016/0377-0273(84)90026-X

Abstract

We examine seismic and eruptive activity at Fuego Volcano (14°29′N, 90° 53′W), a 3800-m-high stratovolcano located in the active volcanic arc of Guatemala. Eruptions at Fuego are typically short-lived vulcanian eruptions producing ash falls and ash flows of high-alumina basalt. From February 1975 to December 1976, five weak ash eruptions occurred, accompanied by small earthquake swarms. Between 0 and 140 (average ≈ 10) A-type or high-frequency seismic events per day with M > 0.5 were recorded during this period. Estimated thermal energies for each eruption are greater by a factor of 106 than cumulative seismic energies, a larger ratio than that reported for other volcanoes.

Over 4000 A-type events were recorded January 3–7, 1977 (cumulative seismic energy ≈ 109 joules), yet no eruption occurred. Five 2-hour-long pulses of intense seismicity separated by 6-hour intervals of quiescence accounted for the majority of events. Maximum likelihood estimates of b-values range from 0.7 ± 0.2 to 2.1 ± 0.4 with systematically lower values corresponding to the five intense pulses. The low values suggest higher stress conditions.

During the 1977 swarm, a tiltmeter located 6 km southeast of Fuego recorded a 14 ± 3 microradian tilt event (down to SW). This value is too large to represent a simple change in the elastic strain field due to the earthquake swarm. We speculate that the earthquake swarm and tilt are indicative of subsurface magma movement.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

No

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 21, issues 3-4, p. 277-296

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