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Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 7 March-13 March 2001

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 March-13 March 2001
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2001. Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 March-13 March 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (7 March-13 March 2001)


Popocatepetl

Mexico

19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5393 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


CENAPRED reported that Popocatépetl's activity was at low-to-moderate levels during most of the week, with small exhalations accompanied by steam emissions. Based on reports from the Mexico MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that at 2024 on 12 March an ash cloud from an exhalation of Popocatépetl was observed at a height of ~ 7 km a.s.l. The ash cloud was not visible on GOES-8 imagery. The volcano remained at Alert Level Yellow Phase III, with a restricted area of 12-km-radius.

Geologic Background. Volcán Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, rises 70 km SE of Mexico City to form North America's 2nd-highest volcano. The glacier-clad stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 400 x 600 m wide crater. The generally symmetrical volcano is modified by the sharp-peaked Ventorrillo on the NW, a remnant of an earlier volcano. At least three previous major cones were destroyed by gravitational failure during the Pleistocene, producing massive debris-avalanche deposits covering broad areas to the south. The modern volcano was constructed south of the late-Pleistocene to Holocene El Fraile cone. Three major Plinian eruptions, the most recent of which took place about 800 CE, have occurred since the mid-Holocene, accompanied by pyroclastic flows and voluminous lahars that swept basins below the volcano. Frequent historical eruptions, first recorded in Aztec codices, have occurred since Pre-Columbian time.

Sources: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)