Logo link to homepage

Los Humeros

Photo of this volcano
  • Mexico
  • México and Central America
  • Caldera(s)
  • 4470 BCE
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 19.68°N
  • 97.45°W

  • 3150 m
    10335 ft

  • 341093
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Los Humeros.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Los Humeros.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Los Humeros.

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.

Eruptive History

There is data available for 1 Holocene eruptive periods.

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
4470 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed Radiocarbon (corrected) NW and SE sides of caldera, Cuicuiltic Member
Deformation History

There is no Deformation History data available for Los Humeros.

Emission History

There is no Emissions History data available for Los Humeros.

Photo Gallery

Los Humeros caldera on the horizon to the NW is the site of the Los Humeros geothermal field, the easternmost in México. The geothermal field was first studied in 1958, and exploratory drilling was carried out in 1981. A geothermal plant has been operating at Los Humeros since June 1990. The plant has seven 5-MW backpressure units, the last of which went online in 1993. In 2001 the production was assessed at 42 MW. The wells range in depth from 1600 to 2225 m, and their temperatures reach 400°C, the highest recorded in México.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
The light-colored area just below the right-hand horizon is the floor of the 15 x 21 km Los Humeros caldera. It is seen here from the SE across the Serdán-Oriental basin from the flanks of Cofre de Perote volcano. Caldera formation during the mid-Pleistocene was followed during the late-Pleistocene or Holocene by extrusion of voluminous lava flows down the flanks of the volcano. These flows form the dark-colored band extending across the basin almost to the left-hand side of the photo. The peak in the left distance is Cerro Pizarro.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
A quarry wall on the lower NW flank of Cofre de Perote volcano exposes a cross-section through part of the Xáltipan Ignimbrite from Los Humeros volcano. The massive 230 cu km ignimbrite was erupted about 460,000 years ago and resulted in the formation of Los Humeros caldera. The voluminous ignimbrite covers a 3500 sq km area and extends at least 50 km to the coastal plain. The mostly non-welded rhyolitic ignimbrite is overlain by co-ignimbrite airfall tuffs and eight airfall lapilli tuffs.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
During the late-Pleistocene or Holocene, voluminous andesitic and basaltic-andesite lava flows erupted from scoria cones on the southern caldera rim and flowed long distances down the southern flank of the caldera. The age of the flows is not known precisely, but the roughly 6000-year-old archaeological site Cantona seen in this photo was constructed on top of the flows. A weather cloud on the horizon drifts from the summit of Cerro Pizarro, the northernmost lava dome of the Serdán-Oriental volcanic field.

Photo by Gerardo Carrasco-Núñez, 1995 (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).
See title for photo information.
A quarry along the road between Teocelo and Cosautlán de Carbajal SE of Cofre de Perote volcano exposes thick deposits of the 230 cu km Xáltipan Ignimbrite from Los Humeros volcano. This outcrop lies about 50 km SE of Los Humeros, beyond the Pico de Orizaba-Cofre de Perote range, much of which post-dates the 460,000-year-old rhyolitic ignimbrite. Eruption of the Xáltipan Ignimbrite, which covered an area of about 3500 sq km, resulted in the formation of a 15 x 21 km wide caldera.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 2000 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
The broad ridge in the distance to the NW is Los Humeros, the easternmost of a series of large silicic volcanic centers with active geothermal systems located north of the axis of the Mexican Volcanic Belt. Eruption of the Xáltipan Ignimbrite about 460,000 years ago resulted in formation of the 15 x 21 km Los Humeros caldera. The most recent eruptions at Los Humeros produced extensive morphologically youthful, but undated basaltic lava flows. Hot springs and fumarolic activity continue at Los Humeros, which is a producing geothermal field.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 2000 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
The summit of Cerro Pinto lava dome on the western side of the Serdán-Oriental basin provides an overview of the dry crater floor of Cerro Xalapaxco tuff cone in the foreground. Pyroclastic-surge deposits associated with Cerro Xalapaxco were deposited in a relatively dry eruptive environment. The sharp-topped peak at the far right is Cerro Pizarro, a lava dome at the northern end of the Serdán-Oriental. The flat ridge stretching across the horizon to the north is Los Humeros caldera.

Photo by Gerardo Carrasco-Núñez, 2002 (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).
See title for photo information.
The fresh-looking lava flows at the top of the image were erupted from Los Humeros caldera (just out of view to the north). The basaltic and andesitic lava flows extend up to about 15 km from the caldera rim. The flows have not been dated precisely, but are younger than 20,000 years and could in part be of Holocene age. The Tepeyahualco (left) and Limón (right) lava flows bracket circular 3100-m-high Cerro Pizarro lava dome (right center), the northernmost feature of the Serdán-Oriental volcanic field.

NASA Landsat satellite image, 1999 (courtesy of Loren Siebert, University of Akron).
See title for photo information.
GVP Map Holdings

The maps shown below have been scanned from the GVP map archives and include the volcano on this page. Clicking on the small images will load the full 300 dpi map. Very small-scale maps (such as world maps) are not included. The maps database originated over 30 years ago, but was only recently updated and connected to our main database. We welcome users to tell us if they see incorrect information or other problems with the maps; please use the Contact GVP link at the bottom of the page to send us email.

Title: Poza Rica
Publisher: INEGI
Country: Mexico
Year: 1998
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:250,000
Map of Poza Rica
Title: Carta Geolica de la Republica Mexicana
Publisher: Recursos Minerales and Institute de Gelogia
Country: Mexico
Year: 1992
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:2,000,000
Map of Carta Geolica de la Republica Mexicana
Title: Misantla
Publisher: Instituto Nacional de Estadistica Geografia e Informatica
Country: Mexico
Year: 1990
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:50,000
Map of Misantla
Title: Altotonga
Publisher: Instituto Nacional de Estadistica Geografia e Informatica
Country: Mexico
Year: 1987
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:50,000
Map of Altotonga
Title: Mexico
Publisher: DMA Aerospace Center
Country: Mexico
Year: 1985
Series: ONC
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Mexico
Title: Estado de Tamaulipas Veracruz
Publisher: USGS /SAHOP
Country: Mexico
Year: 1982
Series: SAHOP Landsat
Map Type: Satellite
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Estado de  Tamaulipas Veracruz
Title: Estado de Oaxaca
Publisher: USGS /SAHOP
Country: Mexico
Year: 1982
Series: SAHOP Landsat
Map Type: Satellite
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Estado de Oaxaca
Title: Estado de Puebla
Publisher: USGS /SAHOP
Country: Mexico
Year: 1982
Series: SAHOP Landsat
Map Type: Satellite
Scale: 1:500,000
Map of Estado de Puebla
Title: Veracruz
Publisher: INEGI
Country: Mexico
Year: 1982
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:250,000
Map of Veracruz
Title: Belize, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico
Publisher: DMA Aerospace Center
Country: Mexico
Year: 1981
Series: ONC
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Belize, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico
Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

The following 25 samples associated with this volcano can be found in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections, and may be availble for research (contact the Rock and Ore Collections Manager). Catalog number links will open a window with more information.

Catalog Number Sample Description Lava Source Collection Date
NMNH 117450-55 Obsidian Oyameles Flow --
NMNH 117450-57 Obsidian Oyameles Flow --
NMNH 117450-58 Obsidian Cueva Ahumada Lava --
NMNH 117450-59 Obsidian Oyameles Flow --
NMNH 117450-63 Obsidian -- --
NMNH 117551-100 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-101 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-102 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-103 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-104 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-105 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-86 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-87 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-88 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-89 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-90 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-91 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-92 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-93 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-94 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-95 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-96 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-97 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-98 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-99 Unidentified -- --
Affiliated Sites