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Seismicity and eruptive activity at Fuego Volcano, Guatemala: February 1975 -January 1977

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research

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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. ?? 1984.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Seismicity and eruptive activity at Fuego Volcano, Guatemala: February 1975 -January 1977
Series title:
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Volume
21
Issue:
3-4
Year Published:
1984
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
First page:
277
Last page:
296
Number of Pages:
20