Popocatepetl (Mexico)

Status Minor Eruption 2019 5393m
Stratovolcano(es) (Subduction zone / Continental crust (> 25 km))

Popocatepetl

Volcán Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, rises 70 km SE of Mexico City to form North America's 2nd-highest volcano. The glacier-clad stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 400 x 600 m wide 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 to the south. The modern volcano was constructed south of the late-Pleistocene to Holocene El Fraile cone. Three major Plinian eruptions, the most recent of which took place about 800 CE, have occurred 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 Pre-Columbian time.

A plume of steam and ash rises above Popocatépetl, whose Aztec name means "Smoking Mountain." This December 1994 aerial view is of the NE side of the massive stratovolcano, which towers more than 3200 m above the Valley of Mexico to the right. Frequent historical eruptions have been recorded since the precolumbian era. El Ventorrillo, the small peak on the right skyline, is the summit of the eroded Nexpayantla volcano, a predecessor to the modern cone of Popocatépetl.

Photo courtesy of CENAPRED, Mexico City, 1994.

Last updated 2019-10-19 08:00:05

Latest activity

CONT VA EMS

Washington VAAC - 2019-10-19 07:58:00 UTC ()

OCNL VA EMS

Washington VAAC - 2019-10-19 01:57:00 UTC ()

LIGHT VA EMS

Washington VAAC - 2019-10-18 19:56:00 UTC ()

VA SEEN IN STLT AND WEB CAM

Washington VAAC - 2019-10-18 13:56:00 UTC ()

VA SEEN IN STLT AND WEB CAM

Washington VAAC - 2019-10-18 13:31:00 UTC ()

Reporte del #CENAPRED sobre la actividad del volcán #Popocatépetl en las últimas 24 horas: ???? 250 exhalaciones ???? 4 explosiones menores ???? 361 minutos de tremor ✅ El semáforo de alerta continúa en #AmarilloFase2. https://t.co/ImS83RdWUm

CENAPRED - 2019-10-16 18:10:00 UTC ()

VA NOT OBSD

Washington VAAC - 2019-10-16 14:05:00 UTC ()

POSS ONGOING VA EMS

Washington VAAC - 2019-10-16 08:32:00 UTC ()

NEW VA EM

Washington VAAC - 2019-10-16 02:54:00 UTC ()

NEW VA EM AT 16/0155Z

Washington VAAC - 2019-10-16 02:00:00 UTC ()