Intense activity at Popocatepetl, volcanic ash to 7.6 km (25 000 feet) a.s.l., Mexico

Intense activity at Popocatepetl, volcanic ash to 7.6 km (25 000 feet) a.s.l., Mexico

A strong eruption took place at Popocatepetl volcano, Mexico at 01:57 UTC on June 22 (20:57 local time, June 21). Incandescent fragments were thrown a short distance from the crater.

Intense activity continued at Popocatepetl volcano on June 22 with a strong eruption at 01:57 UTC. According to the Washington VAAC, volcanic ash was observed on webcam and satellite imagery moving W at 28 km/h (17 mph) and rising up to 7.6 km (25 000 feet) above sea level at 02:01 UTC.

Remnant volcanic ash emission was extending approximately 214 km (134 miles) SW of the summit at 09:50 UTC and was expected to dissipate within 6 hours.

In 24 hours to 15:00 UTC on June 21, 144 exhalations were identified, accompanied by water vapor, gas and light amounts of ash. Additionally, 21 minutes of low amplitude tremor were recorded.​

Geological summary

Volcán Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, rises 70 km (44 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: Popocatepetl volcano erupting on June 22, 2019. Credit: CENAPRED, webcamsdemexico

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