Behavioral patterns of Fuego volcano, Guatemala

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The times of activity at Fuego (one of the most active volcanoes in the world) since 1800 correlate with the activity of other Central American volcanoes. Approximately 0.7 km3 of olivine-bearing, high-Al2O3 basalt has been erupted since 1932, and about 1.7 km3 has been produced during 450 years of historic records. A minimum of 13,000 years and a maximum of 100,000 years were required to build Fuego's cone of 50 km3. Within the recent cluster of activity since 1932, rates of magma production have increased to 0.5 m3/s and the trend has been toward more eruptions (shorter reposes) of progressively more mafic basalt. 47% of the eruptions occurred within 2 days of the fortnightly tidal maximum and 56% occurred within 2 hours of the semi-diurnal minimum of the vertical tidal gravity acceleration. Thus the maximum compressional component of the tidal cycles can trigger an eruption at Fuego. Eruptions with higher effusion rates produce larger volumes of materials, although they only last a few hours. The 20–70 year clusters of activity beginning at 80–170-year intervals are interpreted as reflecting the ascent of primary batches of magma. A deeper (8–16 km), larger (> 1 km3) primary chamber and a shallower (2–5 km), smaller (0.1 km3), dike-like secondary chamber best explain Fuego's behavioral pattern.

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Copyright © 1981 Published by Elsevier B.V. Publisher's version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/0377-0273(81)90055-X

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Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research