Long-term stability of conduit dynamics at Fuego volcano, Guatemala, 2008–2015

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Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


Volcán de Fuego in Guatemala exhibited high systemic stability between 2008 and 2015 based on characteristic seismic events captured by temporary seismic monitoring networks and consistent rates of SO2 degassing determined from remote sensing. Repeating very-long-period (VLP, 60–10 s) seismic events at Fuego persisted for at least 8 years during the ongoing eruptive episode which began in 2002. Fuego manifests VLP seismicity in many different varieties. We observe continued examples of VLP event styles described in previous studies, although the boundaries between events which were categorized based on vent of emission and waveform shape are less well defined during 2012, 2014, and 2015. We suggest that all these events are part of a continuum of VLP activity with magnitudes, waveform shape, and vent of emission governed by small changes in the magma supply rate. The VLP events indicate pressurization within the shallow conduit prior to different types of explosions. We use these signals to inform an updated model of shallow conduit dynamics controlling explosive events from the years spanning at least 2008–2015. The long lifespans of these signals imply a remarkable level of stability in the conduit geometry through various styles of eruptive activity.

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Bulletin of Volcanology