Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 1 June-7 June 2016
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 June-7 June 2016
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2016. Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 June-7 June 2016. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5393 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 1-7 June there were 94-251 daily emissions from Popocatépetl and as many as four explosions detected daily; some emissions corresponded with increased crater incandescence at night. A series of explosions detected during 1135-2230 on 4 June generated gas-and-steam emissions with minor amounts of ash that rose 1.5 km above the crater and drifted ENE. Some of the explosions ejected incandescent tephra 300 m onto the NE flanks. An explosion on 5 June generated an ash plume that rose 1.5 km and drifted E. Incandescent tephra was ejected 1 km onto the N flank. Between 0354 and 0824 on 6 June continuous explosions formed plumes that rose 1 km and drifted NE. 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.