Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 19 June-25 June 2013
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 June-25 June 2013
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 June-25 June 2013. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5393 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
CENAPRED reported that at 1448 on 18 June an explosion from Popocatépetl generated an ash plume that rose 2 km above the crater and drifted NW, and ejected incandescent tephra 100 m from the crater. During 19-25 June seismicity indicated gas-and-steam emissions that sometimes contained small amounts of ash; cloud cover often prevented visual confirmation although plumes were observed most days. Incandescence from the crater was occasionally observed and sometimes increased with accompanying emissions. During 23-24 June a water vapor, gas, and ash plume rose 800 m and drifted NW. On 24 June ashfall was reported in Amecameca (20 km NW). The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two.
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.