Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 1 August-7 August 2007
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
1 August-7 August 2007
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 August-7 August 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5393 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
According to the Washington VAAC, CENAPRED reported that on 28 July an eruption plume from Popocatépetl with minor ash content was visible on a web camera. The plume rose to an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WSW. A pilot reported an ash plume on 3 August. Ash was not identified on satellite imagery on either day.
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.