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Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 13 April-19 April 2005

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 13 April-19 April 2005
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2005. Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 13 April-19 April 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (13 April-19 April 2005)


Popocatepetl

Mexico

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Based on information from CENAPRED, the Washington VAAC reported that on 19 April light gas emission and incandescence were visible in Popocatépetl's crater. Meteorological clouds obscured satellite views of the crater. The Washington VAAC reported that aircraft should avoid flying over Popocatépetl in case increased activity produced an ash plume.

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)