Geochemistry and evolution of the fuego volcanic complex, Guatemala

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Four closely spaced vents along a fissure make up the Fuego and Acatenango volcanic centers in western Guatemala. The Fuego complex is composed of the Fuego and Meseta vents, but historic activity has consisted exclusively of high-Al2O3 basalts from the Fuego vent. The Meseta vent is inactive and deeply exposed. Prehistoric lavas from Fuego and Meseta are generally more silicic than historic Fuego lavas, but all the rocks form a single coherent geochemical variation pattern. Major element chemistry of these rocks is consistent with plagioclase, olivine, augite, and magnetite (POAM) fractionating from high-Al2O3 basalt. Separate batches of magma can be recognized from trace-element data throughout the history of the Fuego complex. This suggests that closed-system, POAM fractionation of distinct magma bodies occurs at Fuego. Trace-element data requires that deep fractionation of olivine, clinopyroxene, and perhaps magnetite from primary olivine tholeiite occurs before arrival of new magma into the shallow (8–16 km) magma chamber at Fuego. Migration of activity from Meseta to Fuego along the fissure is correlated with the change towards more mafic compositions at Fuego. The shift of the vents may have resulted in shorter repose periods and less time for fractionation before eruption. A minimum age of 17,000 years was required to build the Fuego complex.

The andesitic rocks from the adjacent, larger composite volcanoes of Acatenango and Agua have higher incompatible element concentrations, different incompatible element ratios, and lower CaO, Na2O, and Al2O3contents than Fuego's lavas. We believe the magmatic evolution of Acatenango and Agua is much more complex than Fuego.

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© 1984 Published by Elsevier B.V. Publisher's version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/0377-0273(84)90014-3

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Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research