Popocatepetl is one of Mexico's most active volcanoes. After almost 50 years of dormancy, "Popo" came back to life in 1994 and has since then been producing powerful explosions at irregular intervals.
In the past centuries befor European invasions, large eruptions produced giant mud flows that have buried Atzteque settlements, even entire pyramids.
Stratovolcano 5426 m / 17,802 ft
Central Mexico, 19.02°N / -98.62°W Popocatépetl volcano eruptions:
1345-47, 1354, 1363(?), 1488, 1504, 1509(?), 1512, 1518, 1519-23(?), 1528, 1530, 1539-40, 1542, 1548, 1571, 1580, 1590, 1592-94, 1642, 1663-65, 1666-67, 1697, 1720, 1802-04, 1827(?), 1834(?), 1852(?), 1919-22, 1923-24, 1925-27(?), 1933, 1942-43, 1947, 1994-95, 1996-2003, 2004-ongoing Typical eruption style: Dominantly explosive, construction of lava domes. Plinian eruptions at intervals of several centuries or few thousands of years, vulcanian and strombolian activity in intermittent phases.
Popocatépetl webcams / live data Last earthquakes nearby
Popo with glow from the summit seen early on 31 Aug (CENAPRED)
Weak steam explosions occur at frequencies of about 1 per hour. The largest reach 1 km height and contain small amounts of ash, such as at 22:03 on 29 Aug, 00:57 and 02:38 local time on 30 Aug. Glow from the crater is visible at night suggesting that the lava dome is continuing to grow slowly. CENAPRED also registered 3 small volcano-tectonic quakes at 19:51, 19:58 local time on 29 Aug and 10:37 on 30 Aug.
A slight increase in activity can be noted since yesterday. There is about 1 weak steam explosion per hour, with an increase in frequency last evening. Some of the explosions produce small amounts of ash and plumes up to 1.5 km high, such as one at 03:56 early yesterday. Glowing material can be seen ejected during such events at night. ...
Not much has changed at the volcano. A slight increase in the frequency of small explosions to about 1 or 2 per hour can be noted. Some of the explosions produce not only steam, but some ash, and the more powerful ones eject glowing material falling back into the crater. ...
Activity remains relatively low. About 1 weak steam explosion has been occurring per hour over the past day. Still, the volcano produces a large SO2 plume visible on yesterday's satellite image.
The volcano remains at relatively low levels of activity. During 9 hours, only 7 weak explosions of mostly steam and gas were observed. A steam plume rises about 700 meters above the crater.
Volcán Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, towers to 5426 m 70 km SE of Mexico City to form North America's 2nd-highest volcano. The glacier-clad stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 250-450 m deep 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 south of the volcano. The modern volcano was constructed to the south of the late-Pleistocene to Holocene El Fraile cone. Three major plinian eruptions, the most recent of which took place about 800 AD, have occurred from Popocatépetl 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 precolumbian time.
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