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Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — February 1994


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 19, no. 2 (February 1994)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Popocatepetl (Mexico) January and February seismicity summarized

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1994. Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 19:2. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199402-341090



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Seismic events for January and February are summarized on figure 2. During January there were 12 A-type, 12 AB-type, and 62 B-type events. Type-A events have frequencies above 5 Hz, B-type have frequencies 1.0-1.6 Hz, AB-type have both high and low frequencies (19:01). Corresponding totals for February were similar: 14, 5, and 62. During February the amplitude of type AB events increased by about 40%.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Popocatépetl seismicity for January-February 1994. Activity was monitored using the PPM seismic station located on the N flank at 3,900 m elevation. This station is part of the Mexican National Seismic Network. Courtesy of Guillermo González-Pomposo and Carlos Valdés-González.

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.

Information Contacts: Guillermo González-Pomposo1 and Carlos Valdés-González, Instituto de Geofísica, UNAM; 1Also at Benemérita Univ Autótonoma de Puebla, México.