Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 28 June-4 July 2017
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 28 June-4 July 2017
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 28 June-4 July 2017. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5393 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Each day during 28 June-4 July CENAPRED reported 67-240 steam and gas emissions from Popocatépetl, some of which contained minor amounts of ash. Explosions were detected on 28 June (4), on 30 June (1), on 2 July (5), and on 3 July (1), though cloudy conditions prevented visual confirmation of possible ash, gas, and steam plumes. Minor ashfall on 2 July was noted in Ozumba, Amecameca, Tlalmanalco, Chalco, Ayapango, Tenango del Aire, and San Pedro Nexapa. An explosion at 1145 on 4 July generated an ash plume that rose 2.5 km above the crater rim and drifted 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.