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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.
CENAPRED reported 13 mostly small emissions during 19-20 Feb, but also some that were larger than most of the ones recorded during the past weeks. One on the evening of 19 Feb produced a plume with some ash content rising 1.5 km and drifting east. ...more
Two other significant emissions occurred in the morning of 20 Feb. Also, a volcanic-tectonic quake of magnitude 1.9 occurred late on 19 Feb. [less]
A phase of near continuous steam / gas emissions took place yesterday, with some explosions ejecting ballistics onto the crater's outer flanks and producing plumes with some ash rising up to 1 km. Activity declined again in the evening.
The frequency of emissions decreased to only 1 per 2 hours during yesterday, but there is still glow at the summit and an important (but decreased compared to last week) gas (SO2) plume emitted. ...more
A shallow magnitude 3.2 earthquake occurred yesterday under the western flank.
Location of the 3.2 magnitude earthquake yesterday morning
Activity has remained stable. Glow from the summit indicates slow supply of magma to the lava dome. The rate of emissions has climbed a bit to almost 2 per hour average according to the latest CENAPRED report last night.
After a short, intense peak 3 days ago, the rate of emissions has fallen to 8 during 27-28 Jan (1 every 3 hours). However, gas (SO2) emission remains strong and glow at the summit indicates continuing slow magma supply.
The number of gas/steam/minor ash emissions has jumped from rates of less than 1 every 2 hours during most of the past days to about 3 per hour (65 between 24-25 Jan). CENAPRED describes them of low to medium intensity and has observed continuing incandescence at the summit. ...more
The latest satellite data show an increased SO2 plume in correspondence with the elevated activity, and some volcanic quakes are visible at the current (now fixed?) seismogram.
SO2 plume from Popocatépetl (NOAA)
Current seismogram from Popocatepetl (PPM station, UNAM)
Emission of steam and ash during the night 20-21 Jan
No significant changes in activity have occurred. 14 emissions were counted during 20-21 Jan, generating small plumes up to about 800 m height and sometimes small ash content. Glow remains visible at night.
The number of emissions has decreased to 9 during 24 hours between 19-20 Jan, but the activity has not changed significantly otherwise. ...more
The most important were accompanied by minor amounts of ash and occurred at 17:26 pm local time yesterday, and this morning at 04:29 h, 05:58 h and 7:18 h (see image). Additionally, there were two volcanic earthquakes, yesterday at 19:10 h of magnitude Mc = 1.5 and this morning at 05:29 h of magnitude Mc = 1.4.
Activity has not changed significantly: there were about 2 steam and gas emissions per hour during 15 Jan, sometimes producing small quantities of ash. Glow from the summit remains visible at night. ...more
4 small volcanic earthquakes (below M2) occurred in the evening and night of 14-15 Jan. [less]
During 9 to 10 January 2013, Popocatepetl had 19 low-intensity exhalations accompanied by the emission of a steady plume of steam and gases, and only very occasionally minor amounts of ash, which was carried by prevailing high winds eastwards. ...more
At 01:22 on 10 Jan, a stronger explosion occurred throwing incandescent fragments to a distance of 1 km from the crater. During the night glow was observed in the crater of the volcano, which increased during exhalations. [less]
In the last 24 hours (7-8 Jan), CENAPRED recorded 16 low-intensity emissions of steam and gas and occasionally minor amounts of ash. Heavy cloud cover did not allow clear observations of the crater of the volcano during the largest emissions, but VAAC Washington sent out a brief alert for possible ash. ...more
During the night, glow was visible at the volcano. During the morning, a steam and gas plume rising about 300 m above the crater could be seen. [less]
The rate and size of steam-/gas, and sometimes small ash-emissions remains low (less than 1 per hour average), but glow at the summit and an impressive SO2 plume confirm that fresh magma continues to rise slowly within the volcano.
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.
Volcanic crisis at Sakurajima - updates: A strong earthquake swarm and increased inflation were detected in August 2015 and triggered authorities to raise the alert level, as volcanologists think that a larger eruption could follow. News and updates on the events can be found on this page.
List and interactive map of recent earthquakes world-wide.
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