Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 2 March-8 March 2022
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
2 March-8 March 2022
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2022. Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 2 March-8 March 2022. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5393 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During an overflight of Popocatépetl on 23 February, Instituto de Geofísica de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and CENAPRED scientists noted that the inner crater dimensions were similar to those recorded in November 2021. The inner crater was 390-410 m in diameter and 160-200 m deep; the crater floor was covered in tephra and the remains of recent lava domes. Each day during 1-8 March there were 9-50 steam-and-gas emissions with diffuse ash rising from the crater and drifting W and NE. An explosion was recorded at 0959 on 4 March. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two (the 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.