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Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 20 June-26 June 2001

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 June-26 June 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, 20 June-26 June 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (20 June-26 June 2001)


Popocatepetl

Mexico

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Volcanic activity at Popocatépetl remained at normal levels, with several small exhalations of steam, gas, and small amounts of ash. Based on information from CENAPRED, the Washington VAAC reported that on 24 June at 0900 a small eruption produced an ash cloud that rose ~0.5 km above the volcano and drifted to the SW.

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)