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Los Humeros

Photo of this volcano
  • Mexico
  • México and Central America
  • Caldera(s)
  • 4470 BCE
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 19.68°N
  • 97.45°W

  • 3150 m
    10335 ft

  • 341093
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Los Humeros.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Los Humeros.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Los Humeros.

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.

Eruptive History

There is data available for 1 Holocene eruptive periods.

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
4470 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed Radiocarbon (corrected) NW and SE sides of caldera, Cuicuiltic Member
Deformation History

There is no Deformation History data available for Los Humeros.

Emission History

There is no Emissions History data available for Los Humeros.

Photo Gallery

The light-colored area just below the right horizon is the floor of the 15 x 21 km Los Humeros caldera. It is seen here from the SE across the Serdán-Oriental basin from the flanks of Cofre de Perote volcano. Caldera formation during the mid-Pleistocene was followed by extrusion of voluminous lava flows during the late-Pleistocene or Holocene. These flows form the dark-colored area extending across the basin. The peak in the distance to the left is Cerro Pizarro.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
A quarry wall on the lower NW flank of Cofre de Perote volcano exposes a cross-section through part of the Xáltipan Ignimbrite, which erupted about 460,000 years ago and resulted in the formation of Los Humeros caldera. This massive 230 km3 ignimbrite covers a 3,500 km2 area and extends at least 50 km to the coastal plain. The mostly non-welded rhyolitic ignimbrite is overlain by co-ignimbrite airfall tuffs and eight airfall lapilli tuffs.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
During the late-Pleistocene or Holocene, voluminous andesite and basaltic-andesite lava flows erupted from scoria cones on the southern caldera rim and flowed long distances down the flank. The age of the flows is not known precisely, but the roughly 6,000-year-old Cantona archaeological site in this photo was constructed on top of the flows. A meteorological cloud on the horizon drifts from the summit of Cerro Pizarro, the northernmost lava dome of the Serdán-Oriental volcanic field.

Photo by Gerardo Carrasco-Núñez, 1995 (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).
A quarry along the road between Teocelo and Cosautlán de Carvajal exposes thick deposits of the 230 km3 Xáltipan Ignimbrite from Los Humeros volcano. This outcrop lies about 50 km SE of Los Humeros, beyond the Pico de Orizaba-Cofre de Perote range, much of which post-dates the 460,000-year-old ignimbrite. Eruption of the Xáltipan Ignimbrite, which covered an area of about 3,500 km2, resulted in the formation of a 15 x 21 km wide caldera.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 2000 (Smithsonian Institution).
The broad ridge in the distance to the NW is Los Humeros, the easternmost of a series of large silicic volcanic centers with active geothermal systems located north of the axis of the Mexican Volcanic Belt. Eruption of the Xáltipan Ignimbrite about 460,000 years ago resulted in formation of the 15 x 21 km Los Humeros caldera. Recent eruptions at Los Humeros produced extensive basaltic lava flows; hot springs and fumarolic activity continue at Los Humeros, which has a producing geothermal field.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 2000 (Smithsonian Institution).
The summit of the Cerro Pinto lava dome on the western side of the Serdán-Oriental basin provides an overview of the crater floor of Cerro Xalapasco tuff cone in the foreground. Pyroclastic surge deposits associated with Cerro Xalapasco were emplaced in a relatively dry eruptive environment. The peak to the far right is Cerro Pizarro, a lava dome at the northern end of the Serdán-Oriental. The flat ridge stretching across the horizon to the north is Los Humeros caldera.

Photo by Gerardo Carrasco-Núñez, 2002 (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).
The fresh-looking lava flows at the top of the image were erupted from Los Humeros caldera (just out of view to the north). The basaltic and andesitic lava flows extend up to about 15 km from the caldera rim. The flows have not been dated precisely, but are younger than 20,000 years and could in part be of Holocene age. The Tepeyahualco (left) and Limón (right) lava flows bracket circular 3100-m-high Cerro Pizarro lava dome (right center), the northernmost feature of the Serdán-Oriental volcanic field.

NASA Landsat satellite image, 1999 (courtesy of Loren Siebert, University of Akron).
GVP Map Holdings

The maps shown below have been scanned from the GVP map archives and include the volcano on this page. Clicking on the small images will load the full 300 dpi map. Very small-scale maps (such as world maps) are not included. The maps database originated over 30 years ago, but was only recently updated and connected to our main database. We welcome users to tell us if they see incorrect information or other problems with the maps; please use the Contact GVP link at the bottom of the page to send us email.


Title: Cordoba
Publisher: Instituto Nacional de Estadistica Geografia e Informatica
Country: Mexico
Year: 1996
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:50,000
Map of Cordoba

Title: Carta Geolica de la Republica Mexicana
Publisher: Recursos Minerales and Institute de Gelogia
Country: Mexico
Year: 1992
Map Type: Geology
Scale: 1:2,000,000
Map of Carta Geolica de la Republica Mexicana

Title: Huatusco
Publisher: Instituto Nacional de Estadistica Geografia e Informatica
Country: Mexico
Year: 1990
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:50,000
Map of Huatusco

Title: Orizaba
Publisher: INEGI
Country: Mexico
Year: 1985
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:50,000
Map of Orizaba

Title: Mexico
Publisher: DMA Aerospace Center
Country: Mexico
Year: 1985
Series: ONC
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Mexico

Title: Bath of Gulf of Mexico & Caribbean Sea
Publisher: AAPG, Williams & Heintz Map Corp.
Country: US/ C.Am/ S.Am
Year: 1984
Map Type: Bathymetric
Scale: 1:3,289
Map of Bath of Gulf of Mexico & Caribbean Sea

Title: Coscomatepec
Publisher: SPP & INEGI
Country: Mexico
Year: 1983
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:50,000
Map of Coscomatepec

Title: Veracruz
Publisher: INEGI
Country: Mexico
Year: 1982
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:250,000
Map of Veracruz

Title: Estado de Tamaulipas Veracruz
Publisher: USGS /SAHOP
Country: Mexico
Year: 1982
Series: SAHOP Landsat
Map Type: Satellite
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Estado de  Tamaulipas Veracruz

Title: Estado de Oaxaca
Publisher: USGS /SAHOP
Country: Mexico
Year: 1982
Series: SAHOP Landsat
Map Type: Satellite
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Estado de Oaxaca

Title: Estado de Puebla
Publisher: USGS /SAHOP
Country: Mexico
Year: 1982
Series: SAHOP Landsat
Map Type: Satellite
Scale: 1:500,000
Map of Estado de Puebla

Title: Belize, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico
Publisher: DMA Aerospace Center
Country: Mexico
Year: 1981
Series: ONC
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Belize, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico
Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

The following 25 samples associated with this volcano can be found in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections, and may be availble for research (contact the Rock and Ore Collections Manager). Catalog number links will open a window with more information.

Catalog Number Sample Description Lava Source Collection Date
NMNH 117450-55 Obsidian Oyameles Flow --
NMNH 117450-57 Obsidian Oyameles Flow --
NMNH 117450-58 Obsidian Cueva Ahumada Lava --
NMNH 117450-59 Obsidian Oyameles Flow --
NMNH 117450-63 Obsidian -- --
NMNH 117551-100 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-101 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-102 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-103 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-104 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-105 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-86 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-87 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-88 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-89 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-90 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-91 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-92 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-93 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-94 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-95 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-96 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-97 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-98 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-99 Unidentified -- --
External Sites