Popocatepetl volcano news & eruption update
Popocatépetl volcano (Mexico): field report 15-20 April 2019 - low activity
Smaller emissions with mostly steam and only small ash content occurred sporadically, while there have been long intervals (several hours) with only minor gas emissions, typically not visible from distance.
No explosions were observed during the past week.
The large vulcanian explosions in the second half of March have removed the most recent lava dome and both widened and deepened the inner crater.
What will be next?
Seismic levels have been low as reported by CENAPRED but monitoring indicates that large quantities of magma are still being stored inside the volcano. The most likely scenario is considered that the volcano will soon enter another phase of refilling the crater with a dome, which, when it has effectively blocked the conduit, will likely lead to another series of dome-destroying explosions.
The official alert level remains unchanged at Yellow Phase 3.
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.