Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 8 July-14 July 2020
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
8 July-14 July 2020
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2020. Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 July-14 July 2020. 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 8-14 July there were 40-109 steam-and-gas emissions from Popocatépetl, some of which contained minor amounts of ash. Minor crater incandescence was visible most nights. An explosion at 2320 on 8 July ejected incandescent material a short distance. An eruptive event at 0112 on 11 July ejected incandescent material within the crater and onto the crater rim. Incandescent material ejected within the crater was again visible at 0204 and 0454 on 12 July. 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.