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Report on Pico de Orizaba (Mexico) — November 1992

Pico de Orizaba

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 17, no. 11 (November 1992)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Pico de Orizaba (Mexico) Seismic monitoring finds little activity

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1992. Report on Pico de Orizaba (Mexico) (McClelland, L., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 17:11. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199211-341100

Pico de Orizaba


19.03°N, 97.27°W; summit elev. 5564 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During four days of seismic monitoring at Pico de Orizaba (10-13 October), only a single A-type event was recorded by an analog seismic station at 4,680 m above sea level on the S flank. The M 2.7 shock, on 12 October at 0124, had an S-P of 1.5 seconds, consistent with a depth of 8 km. The station, a 1-component (Z) 1-second seismometer, was operated at 72 dB amplification at 0.3-30 Hz. No fumarolic activity was observed and crater morphology has remained unchanged since the team's initial observation in 1989. Geologists plan a continued monitoring program.

Geological Summary. Pico de Orizaba (Volcán Citlaltépetl), México's highest peak and North America's highest volcano, was formed in three stages beginning during the mid-Pleistocene. Orizaba lies at the southern end of a volcanic chain extending north to Cofre de Perote volcano and towers up to 4400 m above its eastern base. Construction of the initial Torrecillas and Espolón de Oro volcanoes was contemporaneous with growth of Sierra Negra volcano on the SW flank and was followed by edifice collapses that produced voluminous debris avalanches and lahars. The modern volcano was constructed during the late Pleistocene and Holocene of viscous andesitic and dacitic lavas, forming the current steep-sided cone. Repetitive explosive eruptions beginning during the early Holocene accompanied lava dome growth and lava effusion. Historical eruptions have consisted of moderate explosive activity and the effusion of dacitic lava flows. The latest eruption occurred during the 19th century.

Information Contacts: G. Pomposo, Benemérita University, Puebla; A. Martín del Pozzo, UNAM, México D.F.