Popocatépetl volcano

Stratovolcano 5426 m / 17,802 ft
Central Mexico, 19.02°N / -98.62°W
Current status: erupting (4 out of 5)
Last update: 7 Dec 2021 (Volcanic Ash Advisory)

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.

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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 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

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Background

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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Source: GVP, Smithsonian Institution - Popocatepetl information

Popocatépetl Photos

Popocatepetl is one of Mexico's most active volcanoes and also part of an Aztec legend, a warrior who fell in love with a young woman (Iztaccihuatl) who died while he was away in battle. He is said to be still mourning for her.

Popocatepetl is located more or less 40 miles southeast of Mexico City. (Photo: RGoadPhotography)
Popocatepetl is one of Mexico's most active volcanoes and also part of an Aztec legend, a warrior who fell in love with a young woman (Iztaccihuatl) who died while he was...
Volcano Tecajete, Popocatepetl in clouds (background), view from San Pedro Cholula , Mexico (Photo: WNomad)
Volcano Tecajete, Popocatepetl in clouds (background), view from San Pedro Cholula , Mexico (Photo: WNomad)
 



Popocatépetl volcano tours:
Popocatépetl Volcano Special (tour to see the ongoing eruption of Mexico's most active volcano)

See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8 | NASA FIRMS
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Popocatepetl and Iztaccíhuatl
Photo from the International Space Station showing a pair of volcanoes in Mexico: active Popocatepetl (left) and extinct Iztaccíhuatl.(right).
Photo from the International Space Station showing a pair of volcanoes in Mexico: active Popocatepetl (left) and extinct Iztaccíhuatl.(right).
This 2003 photo from the International Space Station shows a pair of volcanoes in Mexico. As part of the “Ring of Fire” stretching around the Pacific, Mexico hosts several of the world's most continually active volcanoes, including the massive Popocatepetl (Aztec for "smoking mountain") at left. The neighboring volcano is Iztaccíhuatl (the "Woman in White"). The faint plume emanating from Popocatepetl's summit crater shows the ever-present hazard the volcano represents to the 25 million people living in the region, including the nearby city of Amecameca, as well as the metropolitan centers of Mexico City to the northwest and Puebla to the east.
Credit: NASA

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