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Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 30 March-5 April 2022


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
30 March-5 April 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, 30 March-5 April 2022. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (30 March-5 April 2022)



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

CENAPRED reported that the eruption at Popocatépetl continued during 30 March through 5 April. Each day there were 11-29 diffuse gas-and-steam emissions with ash rising from the crater and drifting S, E, NE, and SE. Based on webcam, satellite and wind models, the Washington VAAC reported ash plumes that rose to 7.3 km (24,000 ft) a.s.l. that drifted E and SE. A moderate explosion was recorded at 2022 on 29 March, resulting in light ashfall in San Pedro Benito Juárez, a municipality of Atlixco. Three volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes were recorded on 30 March at 1129, 1146, and 1514. Intermittent VT earthquakes continued during the week. 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.

Sources: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)