Hawaii volcano and Guatemala eruption: What makes the eruptions so different?



Kilauea and Fuego make both erupted in recent months, but what makes the eruptions so separate?

Continuing seismic activity at Kilauea has caused eruptions of varying immensities, releasing ash and volcanic gas into the atmosphere. 

Hawaii’s most active volcano has erupted for uncountable than a month, with thousands of earthquakes and a continuing channel of lava issue into the ocean. 

The latest earthquake struck at 4am local time (3.00pm BST) with a size of 5.4 and the United States Geological Survey have warned to require ashfall in the wake of the latest explosion.

Whilst Hawaii’s volcanic movement rumbles on, Guatemala’s has seemed to steady, but this doesn’t mean that the discharge has been any less deadly. 

Volcan de Fuego in Guatemala erupted on June 3, sending cataclysmic pyroclastic lava into about towns and villages, burying structures and the natural landscape in dense volcanic mud. 

Round 200 people remain missing in Guatemala, with rescue tries having to halt every so often due to the unsteady environment the eruption has fashioned.

What makes Fuego and Kilauea’s eruptions so different?

XRF Geochemist Dr Tom Knott set aside to express.co.uk about the difference between the two volcanoes: “If we compare Fuego with Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano this is an illustration of a shield volcano. 

“Here the magma is of a ‘mafic’ composition, meaning drunk Iron and Magnesium and importantly lower silicate content, this emerges in a runnier magma – low viscosity. 

“In a magma of low viscosity, beneath Kilauea volcano, gases can prison-break from the melt much easier, resulting in more gentle profuse eruptions.”

Dr Knott say Fuego in Guatemala is an entirely different volcano and accordingly has entirely different eruptions: “In contrast, Volcan de Fuego is an example of a stratovolcano. 

“Here the magma is of a more ‘felsic’ construction, much higher silicate content, resulting in a ‘stickier’ more viscous magma. 


A in the main plume of laze rising from the ocean in Hawaii


Guatemala’s explosion has left dense volcanic mud covering villages

“As magma of this genus ascends to the surface via a volcanic conduit any dissolved volatiles rapidly embellish within the melt but struggle to escape. 

“This leads to an intense build-up of press resulting in a much more explosive and violent eruption.”

The difference in the magma creation is what creates a difference in eruption.

Kilauea’s more liquid lava enables gases to do a bunk much easier than Fuego’s stickier magma. 

A stickier magma apparatus gases, causing them to expand and eventually erupt explosively when reaching the superficies.

Big Island’s volcano continues to spew lava in a channel travelling north and then eastward into the deep blue sea. 

Scientists remain unable to predict when the activity at Kilauea hand down cease, with earthquakes hitting the summit in hundreds every day. 

Release efforts in Guatemala have begun again after a week-long delay due to unsafe conditions.

Currently, the death toll stands at 110, whilst 200 people scraps listed as missing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *