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Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 30 October-5 November 2013


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 October-5 November 2013
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 October-5 November 2013. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (30 October-5 November 2013)



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 30 October-5 November, CENAPRED maintained Alert Level Yellow, Phase Two. Explosions were frequently detected, varying from 30 to 97 events per day. Though cloudy conditions obscured the view at times, ash plumes were detected on 30-31 October and 1 November. The ash event on 31 October generated a plume that reached an altitude of 1 km and drifted NW.

An Mc 2.1 volcanic-tectonic (VT) earthquake was recorded on 31 October and 4 November; an Mc 2.3 VT earthquake was also detected on 4 November. The largest VT earthquake during this time period was a magnitude 2.5 that occurred at 1031 on 5 November. Tremor was frequently detected during this reporting period; on 1 November, 3 hours and 21 minutes of high frequency tremor were detected.

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.

Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)