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Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) — 20 March-26 March 2024


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 March-26 March 2024
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert. Written by JoAnna G. Marlow.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2024. Report on Popocatepetl (Mexico) (Marlow, J G, and Sennert, S, eds.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 March-26 March 2024. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (20 March-26 March 2024)



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Centro Nacional de Prevención de Desastres (CENAPRED) reported that eruptive activity continued at Popocatépetl during 20-26 March. Daily activity consisted of 14-69 long-period (LP) events that were accompanied by emissions of gas, steam, and small quantities of ash. Additionally, high-frequency and variable amplitude episodes of tremor were registered; duration of episodes ranged from approximately 2.9 to 17.6 hours per day. Continuous gas, steam, and sometimes ash emissions were observed during the mornings; plumes dispersed towards the NE and ENE. Centro Nacional de Comunicación y Operación de Protección Civil (CENACOM) reported light ashfall in multiple municipalities within the state of Puebla during 20-26 March, and within the state of Tlaxcala during 25-26 March.

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.

Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)