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

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Popocatepetl volcano news & eruption update

Popocatepetl volcano (Mexico): alert level raised

Wednesday Apr 18, 2012 17:39 PM | BY: TOMPFEIFFER

CENAPRED has raised the alert status of Popocatépetl to the third highest level (5 out of 7) and considers the possibility of a major eruption. The volcano continues to have elevated levels of seismicity, and produces frequent steam and ash emissions raising about 1 km above the crater.
Local authorities are preparing for potential evacuations. The last time evacuations were ordered on a large scale was in 2000 when over 50,000 people had to leave their homes.
The major hazards of a larger eruption would be ash falls, pyroclastic flows, lahars produced by mixing of water and tephra.
A larger eruption is likely to affect air traffic around Mexico City as well.
Previous news
Monday, Apr 16, 2012
Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City had one of its largest eruptions this year yesterday 16 April. An explosion produced an ash plume rising 2 km and caused ash fall, up to 7 cm thick, in over 30 communities near the volcano. Strong incandescence can be seen at night from the summit, suggesting that fresh magma is arriving there building up a new lava dome. ... [more]
incandescence in the crater (04/04/2012)
Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012
In the last 24 hours the volcano maintained low levels of activity, registering 3 weak explosions emitting plumes mostly of steam and gas. The most important took place today at 01:46 am and 9:49 a.m. ... [more]
Monday, Mar 26, 2012
Popocatepétl volcano in Mexico has been showing signs of increased activity recently, The National Center for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED) reported yesterday. ... [more]
Thursday, Mar 22, 2012
During the past week, steam-and-gas emissions were observed from Popocatépetl volcano and incandescence from the crater was visible at night. Small ash emissions occurred on 14 and 18 March, accompanied by increased incandescence from the crater. [more]
Thursday, Mar 08, 2012
During 1-6 March steam-and-gas emissions rose from Popocatépetl. Emissions contained small amounts of ash on 1 March and crater incandescence was observed at night. During the night on 2 March crater incandescence rose 200-300 m above the crater. [more]

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


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