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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.
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Popocatepetl volcano news & eruption update

Popocatépetl volcano (Mexico): activity summary 11-17 April

Thursday Apr 19, 2012 10:05 AM | BY: T

The weekly Smithsonian/USGS volcanic activity report summarizes the recent increase of Popocatépetl volcano as follows:
During 11-15 April steam-and-gas emissions from Popocatépetl occasionally contained ash; emissions contained a substantial amount of ash on 12 April.
Seismicity increased on 13 April and at 2220 an explosion ejected incandescent blocks that landed on the NE flank as far as 500 m away from the crater rim. A larger explosion at 2236 ejected incandescent blocks that landed even further away on all flanks; an ash plume rose 2 km above the crater and drifted ENE. Ashfall was reported in San Pedro Benito Juarez (10-12 km SE), where the explosion was also heard.
On 14 April gas-and-steam plumes that contained small amounts of ash drifted SW. Multiple emissions occurred with increased incandescence from the crater. Ejected incandescent blocks landed back in the crater or on the flanks 500-800 m from the rim. Gas-and-ash plumes drifted ESE. Ashfall was reported in multiple towns, including Puebla (50 km to the E), San Pedro Benito Juarez, Santiago Xalitzintla (15 km NE), Tianguismanalco, and Atlixco (25 km SE).
On 15 April an ash plume rose 1.5 km above the crater and drifted E. Gas-and-ash emissions rose 1 km above the crater on 16 April and were accompanied by ejected incandescent fragments that were deposited on the flanks, especially to the N and NE. Later that day ash plumes rose 2 km above the crater and drifted E. Ashfall was again reported in Puebla. CENAPRED increased the Alert Level at the volcano from Yellow Phase Two to Yellow Phase Three.
During 16-17 April incandescence extended 300 m above the crater and gas-and-steam emissions were constant. Gas-and-ash plumes rose from the crater on 17 April.
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Links / Sources:
Previous news
Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012
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. ... [more]
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]

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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