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Impressive eruption of Popocatépetl volcano, Mexico

impressive-eruption-of-popocatepetl-volcano-mexico

An impressive eruption took place at Mexico's Popocatépetl volcano at 07:26 UTC (02:26 local time) today.

The eruption ejected incandescent fragments up to 600 m (1 968 feet) from the crater an generated a column of ash that reached a height of about 2 km (6 500 feet) above the crater and drifted northwest.

According to the Washington VAAC, the new emission has resulted in a plume of volcanic ash extending 28 km (17 miles) west of the summit. At 14:27 UTC, volcanic ash cloud was reaching a height of 6.4 km (21 000 feet) above sea level and moving west at 46.3 – 55 km/h (52 – 34 mph).

YouTube video

YouTube video

CENAPRED urged population not to approach the volcano, especially the crater due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments and the possibility of pyroclastic flows and short-range mudflows. A 12 km (7.4 miles) safety radius remains in effect.

Geological summary

Volcán Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, towers to 5 426 m (17 801 feet) 70 km (43.5 miles) SE of Mexico City to form North America's 2nd-highest volcano. The glacier-clad stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 400 x 600 m (1 312 x 1 968 feet) 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 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. (GVP)

Featured image: Eruption of Popocatepetl volcano on October 5, 2017. Credit: webcamsdemexico

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