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Satellite images of Popocatepetl volcano (c)Google Earth View
Satellite images of Popocatepetl volcano (c)Google Earth View
Popocatépetl volcano
Stratovolcano 5426 m / 17,802 ft
Central Mexico, 19.02°N / -98.62°W
Current status: erupting (4 out of 5)
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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.
Last earthquakes nearby
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Popocatepetl volcano news & eruption update

Popocatepetl volcano (Central Mexico) activity update

Sunday Jan 20, 2013 21:05 PM | BY: T

Explosion from Popo on 20 Jan morning (CENAPRED)
Explosion from Popo on 20 Jan morning (CENAPRED)
SO2 plume from Popocatépetl on 20 Jan 2013 (NOAA)
SO2 plume from Popocatépetl on 20 Jan 2013 (NOAA)
The number of emissions has decreased to 9 during 24 hours between 19-20 Jan, but the activity has not changed significantly otherwise.
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.
During the night there was slight glow above the crater of the volcano. The plume of water vapor and gases has been very weak and diffuse, sometimes bluish, reaching low altitude and heading northeast.
A significant SO2 plume can be seen on satellite imagery.
Previous news
Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013
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]
January 10, 2013 explosion (CENAPRED)
Friday, Jan 11, 2013
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]
Constant emission of water vapor and gas
Tuesday, Jan 08, 2013
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]
SO2 plume from Popocatépetl on 5 Jan 2013 (NOAA)
Sunday, Jan 06, 2013
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. [more]
Thursday, Jan 03, 2013
The number of steam and gas emissions has decreased to only 8 recorded during 2-3 Jan, but glow is still being observed at night. [more]


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.


Source: GVP, Smithsonian Institution - Popocatepetl information

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