Zitacuaro-Valle de Bravo

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 19.4°N
  • 100.25°W

  • 3500 m
    11480 ft

  • 341061
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Zitacuaro-Valle de Bravo.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Zitacuaro-Valle de Bravo.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Zitacuaro-Valle de Bravo.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



3050 BCE

3500 m / 11480 ft


Volcano Types

Lava dome(s)
Pyroclastic cone(s)

Rock Types

Andesite / Basaltic Andesite
Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Trachyandesite / Basaltic trachy-andesite
Trachybasalt / Tephrite Basanite

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)


Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km

Geological Summary

The Zitácuaro-Valle de Bravo volcanic field in the central part of the Mexican Volcanic Belt consists of a broad region of shield volcanoes, lava domes, and cinder cones surrounding the city of Heroica de Zitácuaro. The Zitácuaro volcanic complex itself, located SE of the city, was constructed within the 30-km-wide Las Tres Chicas caldera of Miocene age, which later underwent three post-caldera episodes of intra-caldera lava dome resurgence and included the intrusion of dacitic central lava domes, the emplacement of pyroclastic flows, and the eruption of andesitic lava flows. The youngest dated activity at the complex produced La Dieta airfall deposit about 31,000 years ago, and persistent local seismicity continues at Zitácuaro. The Valle de Bravo area to the south contains dominantly andesitic lava domes and flows, many of which were erupted along regional faults. The youngest flows were erupted at the bottom of a fault-controlled canyon; the most recent of these, west of the Valle de Bravo lake, has been Argon-Argon dated at about 5200 +/- 2300 years, and morphology suggests a Holocene age for other cones.


The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography.

Aguirre-Diaz G J, Jaimes-Vierra M C, Nieto-Obregon J, 2006. The Valle de Bravo volcanic field: geology and geomorphometric parameters of a Quaternary monogenetic field at the front of the Mexican Volcanic Belt. In: Siebe S, Macias J-L, Aguirre-Diaz G J (eds) Neogone-Quaternary continental margin volcanism: a perspective from Mexico, {Geol Soc Amer Spec Pap}, 402: 139-154.

Blatter D L, Carmichael I S E, 1998. Hornblende peridotite xenoliths from central Mexico reveal the highly oxidized nature of subarc upper mantle. Geology, 26: 1035-1038.

Blatter D L, Carmichael I S E, 1998. Plagioclase-free andesites from Zitacuaro (Michoacan), Mexico; petrology and experimental constraints. Contr Mineral Petr, 132: 121-138.

Blatter D L, Carmichael I S E, Deino A L, Renne P R, 2001. Neogene volcanism at the front of the central Mexican volcanic belt; basaltic andesites to dacites, with contemporaneous shoshonites and high-TiO2 lava. Geol Soc Amer Bull, 113: 1324-1342.

Capra L, Macias J L, Garduno V H, 1997. The Zitacuaro volcanic complex, Michoacan, Mexico: magmatic and eruptive history of a resurgent caldera. Geof Internac, 36: 161-179.

Luhr J F, Kimberly P G, Siebert L, Aranda-Gomez J J, Housh T B, Kysar Mattietti G, 2006. Quaternary volcanic rocks: insights from the MEXPET petrological and geochemical database. In: Siebe S, Macias J-L, Aguirre-Diaz G J (eds) Neogone-Quaternary continental margin volcanism: a perspective from Mexico, {Geol Soc Amer Spec Pap}, 402: 1-44.

Eruptive History

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
3050 BCE ± 2000 years Unknown Confirmed 0 Potassium-Argon West of Valle de Bravo

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Agua Bendita, Cerro Cone
Belvedere Cone
Bolsa, Cerro la Pyroclastic cone 1680 m 19° 0' 30" N 100° 9' 0" W
Cantarranas, Cerro Cone
Chilacayote, Cerro el Shield volcano 2200 m 19° 16' 0" N 100° 23' 0" W
Compana, Cerro la Cone
Comunidad Cone 2340 m 19° 21' 30" N 100° 20' 30" W
Coporito, Cerro el Cone
Cruz, Cerro la Pyroclastic cone 2380 m 19° 43' 0" N 100° 28' 0" W
Curungueo Cone 2300 m 19° 28' 30" N 100° 19' 0" W
Espazote, Cerro el Cone
Gloria, Cerro la Pyroclastic cone 2460 m 19° 42' 0" N 100° 28' 0" W
Gordo, Cerro Cone
Gordo, Volcán Cone 1580 m 18° 51' 30" N 100° 8' 0" W
Grande, Cerro Cone
Guacamaya, Cerro la Cone
Herradura, Cerro la Pyroclastic cone 2480 m 19° 43' 0" N 100° 31' 0" W
Hoyos, Cerro los Cone
Idolo, Cerro el Cone
Juanacanla Cone
Junacanila, Cerro Pyroclastic cone 1780 m 19° 0' 30" N 100° 10' 0" W
Malacate, Cerro el Cone
Mesa de San Jerónimo Cone
Molcajete Cone 2440 m 19° 23' 30" N 100° 21' 0" W
Naranjo, El Cone 2100 m 19° 25' 0" N 100° 21' 0" W
Pelón, Cerro Pyroclastic cone 1500 m 19° 4' 0" N 100° 15' 0" W
Pelón, Cerro Pyroclastic cone 1940 m 19° 2' 0" N 100° 9' 0" W
Peña Blanca Cone
Piloncillo, Cerro el Cone
Pueblo Nuevo Cone
Rosario, Cerro el Pyroclastic cone 1880 m 19° 13' 0" N 100° 12' 0" W
San Lucas Cone
Silla, Cerro la Cone
Tinaja, Volcán la Cone 1580 m 18° 51' 30" N 100° 6' 0" W
Tinajas, Cerro las Cone
Tuxpan Shield volcano 2460 m 19° 31' 0" N 100° 26' 0" W
Valle de Bravo Volcanic field 19° 0' 0" N 100° 10' 0" W


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
San Francisco Crater
Tres Chicas, Las Caldera
Zitacuaro, Hoyo de Crater


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Azul, Cerro Dome
Bonita, Loma Dome
Cacique, Cerro Dome 3200 m 19° 23' 0" N 100° 19' 0" W
Cañada Obscura, Cerro Dome
Candelero Dome 2340 m 19° 24' 0" N 100° 20' 30" W
Cebollas, Las Dome
Chato Dome
Chilesdo Dome
Cualta, La Dome
Estancia, Cerro la Dome
Flores, Cerro las Dome
Flores, Las Dome 2540 m 19° 25' 0" N 100° 17' 30" W
Gordo, Cerro Dome 2800 m
Laguna, La Dome
Lodo Prieto, Cerro Dome
Pachuca Dome 2460 m 19° 26' 0" N 100° 18' 0" W
Pelón, Cerro Dome 3500 m 19° 23' 30" N 100° 16' 0" W
Piedra Herrada, Cerro Dome
Piloncillo Dome 3300 m 19° 23' 0" N 100° 12' 30" W
Pinal de Marquezada Dome
Rededonda Dome
Rincón Chico Dome
Salitre de Cerro, El Dome
San Bartolo Dome 2500 m 19° 15' 30" N 100° 4' 0" W
San Luis el Alto Dome
Santiago del Monte Dome
Silla Dome 2620 m 19° 21' 0" N 100° 18' 0" W

Photo Gallery

A panoramic view from the north shows the 3200-m-high dacitic Cerro el Cacique lava dome, part of the extensive Zitácuaro-Valle de Bravo volcanic field in the central Mexican Volcanic Belt. The dome rises dramatically over the city of Heroica de Zitácuaro (100,000 inhabitants), which is built on top of a pyroclastic-flow deposit originating from collapse of the Cerro Pelón lava dome (visible to the left of the Cacique dome). Andesitic lava flows to the south in the Valle de Bravo area are as young as about 5000 years.

Photo by Lucia Capra, 1993 (courtesy of José Macías, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

There are no samples for Zitacuaro-Valle de Bravo in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Zitacuaro-Valle de Bravo Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
MODVOLC - HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System Using infrared satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, scientists at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, developed an automated system called MODVOLC to map thermal hot-spots in near real time. For each MODIS image, the algorithm automatically scans each 1 km pixel within it to check for high-temperature hot-spots. When one is found the date, time, location, and intensity are recorded. MODIS looks at every square km of the Earth every 48 hours, once during the day and once during the night, and the presence of two MODIS sensors in space allows at least four hot-spot observations every two days. Each day updated global maps are compiled to display the locations of all hot spots detected in the previous 24 hours. There is a drop-down list with volcano names which allow users to 'zoom-in' and examine the distribution of hot-spots at a variety of spatial scales.
MIROVA Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity (MIROVA) is a near real time volcanic hot-spot detection system based on the analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data. In particular, MIROVA uses the Middle InfraRed Radiation (MIR), measured over target volcanoes, in order to detect, locate and measure the heat radiation sourced from volcanic activity.