Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 25 September-1 October 2019
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
25 September-1 October 2019
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2019. Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 25 September-1 October 2019. 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 each day during 25 September-1 October there were 123-224 steam-and-gas emissions from Popocatépetl, some of which contained ash. As many as 10 explosions were recorded each day and crater incandescence was sometimes visible at night. During an overflight on 27 September observatory staff, scientists, and civil protection staff observed a lava dome, 30 m in diameter, at the bottom of the inner crater. The inner crater was 350 m in diameter and 150 m deep based on thermal images and photographs. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two (middle level on a three-color scale).
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.