Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 1 November-7 November 2017
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 November-7 November 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, 1 November-7 November 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 1-7 November CENAPRED reported 200-361 emissions from Popocatépetl, some of which contained ash. Crater incandescence was noted almost nightly. Increased seismicity at 0146 on 3 November coincided with a period of Strombolian activity that ended at 0535; gas, water vapor, and ash emissions rose from the carter and incandescent material was ejected 500 m onto the flanks. An explosion was detected at 1027. On 4 November explosions were detected at 0145 and 0608. Following the second explosion a continuous gas plume with minor ash drifted WSW. Beginning at 0735 ashfall was reported in municipalities of Yecapixtla (31 km SW) and Zacualpan de Amilpas (30 km SW), in the state of Morelos. A Strombolian period began at 1029 and lasted for 80 minutes, causing ashfall in Tetela del Volcán (20 km SW). Explosions at 1440 and 2231 ejected incandescent material 200 m onto the flanks. Another explosion was recorded at 0411 on 5 November. An explosion at 1653 on 6 November generated a gas-and-ash plume that rose 2.5 km above the crater rim and drifted SW. Fragments were ejected 500 m onto the flanks. An explosion at 0100 on 7 November generated a gas-and-ash plume that rose almost 2 km above the crater rim and drifted SW. 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.