Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 16 April-22 April 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
16 April-22 April 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 April-22 April 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5393 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
CENAPRED reported that during 15-22 April seismicity at Popocatépetl indicated continuing emissions of water vapor, gas, and occasional small amounts of ash. Cloud cover sometimes prevented visual observations. Slight nighttime incandescence was observed. Explosions recorded at 0729 and 1004 on 20 April, at 0758 and 1049 on 21 April, and at 2019 on 22 April produced plumes with minor ash content that rose around 1 km above the crater and drifted NE and NW. Crater incandescence increased when the explosions occurred. The Alert Level remained at to Yellow, Phase Two.
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.