Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 8 June-14 June 2016
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 June-14 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, 8 June-14 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 8-14 June there were 47-104 daily emissions from Popocatépetl and as many as six explosions detected daily; some emissions contained minor amounts of ash. Cloud cover often prevented observations, though crater incandescence was visible every night. During 0638-1130 on 9 June continuous ash emissions rose as high as 1 km above the crater rim and drifted NE. An explosion at 1117 on 12 June produced an ash plume that rose 2.5 km and drifted W. Minor amounts of ash fell in Ozumba (18 km W). 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.