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Volcano hazards at Fuego and Acatenango, Guatemala

January 1, 2001

The Fuego-Acatenango massif comprises a string of five or more volcanic vents along a north-south trend that is perpendicular to that of the Central American arc in Guatemala. From north to south known centers of volcanism are Ancient Acatenango, Yepocapa, Pico Mayor de Acatenango, Meseta, and Fuego. Volcanism along the trend stretches back more than 200,000 years. Although many of the centers have been active contemporaneously, there is a general sequence of younger volcanism, from north to south along the trend. This massive volcano complex towers more than 3500 meters (m) above the Pacific coastal plain to the south and 2000 m above the Guatemalan Highlands to the north. The volcano complex comprises remnants of multiple eruptive centers, which periodically have collapsed to form huge debris avalanches. The largest of these avalanches extended more than 50 kilometers (km) from its source and covered more than 300 square km. The volcano has potential to produce huge debris avalanches that could inundate large areas of the Pacific coastal plain. In areas around the volcanoes and downslope toward the coastal plain, more than 100,000 people are potentially at risk from these and other flowage phenomena.

Publication Year 2001
Title Volcano hazards at Fuego and Acatenango, Guatemala
DOI 10.3133/ofr01431
Authors J. W. Vallance, S. P. Schilling, O. Matías, William I. Rose, M.M. Howell
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2001-431
Index ID ofr01431
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Cascades Volcano Observatory; Volcano Science Center