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Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 22 June-28 June 2005


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
22 June-28 June 2005
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2005. Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 June-28 June 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (22 June-28 June 2005)



19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5393 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 22-27 June, Popocatépetl volcano had several steam explosions. On 22 June, there was a volcano-tectonic micro-earthquake of magnitude 2.0, located 500 m NW of the crater at a depth of 4.6 km. On 23 June a pilot reported an ash cloud 8 km (26,000 ft) a.s.l. This ash cloud was not observed in satellite imagery due to dense weather clouds. On 24 June a VT earthquake of magnitude 2.3, was located 2.5 km S of the crater and a depth of 6.4 km (21,000 ft). On 23 June CENAPRED received reports of ash fall in Tetela del volcán and Ocuituco, municipalities of Morelos.

Geological Summary. 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.

Sources: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)