Popocatepetl

 


Current alert status:


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Latest blog post (Older ones are here!):

July 19, 2019, 11:54 a.m., Pacific:

This is an activity increase but it does fall within CENAPRED’s Yellow Phase 2 level of alert.


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July 13, 2019, 11:44 p.m., Pacific: I haven’t been ignoring the Colossus of Puebla — it just keeps doing its (elevated) thing.

Here is a brief summary of this morning’s CENAPRED update and video of one of the recent explosions:


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Sunday Morning Volcano posts (for background)

Useful links

  • It’s a challenge to link to CENAPRED’s updates page, but this official site seems reliable, and it’s in English.
  • Altzomoni webcam. See this tweet (Spanish) for a picture of where this and other cams, including those linked below, are located relative to the volcano.
  • Tlamacas webcam
  • Tianguismanalco webcam
  • Chipiquixtle
  • Webcams de Mexico live cam (Los Ranchos)
  • YouTube time-lapse videos from four webcam feeds. (I don’t know who puts these up, but they are wonderful!)
  • National Seismological Service webicorders PPIG and Canario (Chipiquixtle)
  • GVP background page.
  • Recent Washington VAAC (Volcanic Ash Advisory Center) advisories (you won’t see Popo on this list unless it has had recent activity).
  • NOAA/CIMSS volcanic cloud page. I have it set for the last 12 hours of activity. Popo’s typical low-level vulcanian explosions don’t show up, but something bigger will, day or night. Red markings that appear occasionally are technical–for this blog, the link is simply for “an eye in the sky” on the Colossus of Puebla.
  • Interactive risk map for Popocatepetl (Spanish, but many technical terms (like “flujos piroclasticos”) are similar to English equivalents (pyroclastic flows); “ceniza” is ash)



Background reads

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Older blog posts

July 6, 2019, 4:16 p.m., Pacific: There was an 890-minute episode of tremor over the last 24 hours, per CENAPRED this morning. No other major changes. The summit is socked in on the webcams now, but it had an impressive “puff” (they do not call it an explosion) around 12:50 p.m.:


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July 3, 2019, 11:21 a.m., Pacific: Well, this is encouraging — less deformation, less tremor, and fewer explosions:


From CENAPRED’s 11 a.m. update on July 3, 2019.



July 2, 2019, 3:06 p.m., Pacific: Seismicity and tremor are a little lower over the last 24 hours, per CENAPRED, as well as the number of explosions (just 9 — that’s still way more than the volcano’s typical activity), but there are more “puffs” (exhalations).

Here are a few from this morning:



The plume from an obscured summit at around 11:44 a.m. was an explosion, per Puebla State Civil Protection’s tweet.

Unfortunately there is stormy weather in the area and the webcams aren’t of much use sometimes.

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens next.



July 1, 2019, 11:39 a.m., Pacific: CENAPRED reports 14 explosions over the last 24 hours. Per the graphic that accompanied this morning’s Spanish-language update, “puffs,” seismicity, and tremor remained high, too.


I really want to see tomorrow’s graph and learn if the seismity and tremor dropped after this series of explosions.


An encouraging note, perhaps, is that there is no longer that tiny increment in deformation that often showed up over the last month.

We’ll see. (Of note, the volcano is socked in on the webcam currently.)



June 28, 2019, 1:11 p.m., Pacific: Still Yellow, Phase 2, but an explosion last night and some ash chuffin’, too, it looks like. Ashfall, per CENAPRED, was reported in Tetela del Volcán, Ocuituco, and Jiutepec in Morelos State.



Here’s what it looked like on the Chipiquixtle webicorder.


Noteworthy is the extended nature of the signal (what I called “chuffin’ ash”).



June 22, 2019, 11:14 a.m., Pacific: Per CENAPRED, there was an explosion last night around 9 p.m. local time that showered ash on a few local communities:



See how long and drawn out it is, compared to some of the other recent explosions? It looks like that on the webicorder, too.

And per the routine graphic in today’s update, seismic activity over the last two weeks is at the same level as during 1996-1998, shortly after this active phase began. Or a little higher.



I’m just a layperson, but it all looks to me like Popo is slowly working itself up into a full-blown eruption. When? How big?

Who can know ahead of time? The goal of volcanologists and emergency managers can only be to provide as much warning as possible.



June 21, 2019, 12:45 p.m., Pacific: Still looking majestic as of this moment:


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“Baja” means “low,” so Popo has been relatively quiet, too.



June 18, 2019, 2:30 p.m., Pacific: The webicorder is still fairly quiet, and at the moment Popo is just looking majestic per usual:



There was a video of yesterday’s mid-afternoon explosion linked in this morning’s CENAPRED update:



I wonder if these explosions are going to become as common as Don Goyo’s earlier “puffs”; hope not, because there’s more energy here and something might give way, it seems to this layperson.



June 17, 2019, 9:44 p.m., Pacific: Things are a little more quiet on the Chipiquixtle webicorder now . . .


Am only a layperson, but this doesn’t look like anything I’ve seen at Popo before — rocks breaking from magma/fluid movement, perhaps?


. . . and the volcano is visible on the webcams, snow-covered despite the explosions earlier today. Moonlight filtered through clouds gives it a sullen look, though.


Tlamacas webcam



June 17, 2019, 5:38 p.m., Pacific: Popo has had an explosive afternoon:



A few hours later came a train of exhalations. This is all within Yellow Phase 2 activity, but it’s leaving its mark on the neighborhood.


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Here’s Google translation of the 1 p.m. update CENAPRED did in Spanish:

At 12:40 a blast was registered whose height reached approximately 8 km, with moderate ash content that the winds scatter to the southwest . . .

The populations of possible fall of ash would be, of the state of Morelos in the municipalities, Tetela del Volcán, Ocuituco, Yecapixtla, Zacualpan, Temoac and Atlatlahucan, of the Edo. from Mexico in Ecatzingo, Atlautla, Ozumba and Tepetlixpa, and from the state of Puebla in San Nicolás de los Ranchos, Nealtican, Tianguismanalco, San Jerónimo Tecuanipan, San Gregorio Atzompa, San Andrés Cholula, San Pedro Cholula, San Isabel Cholula and Puebla.


On further exploration, I also see the Colossus of Puebla greeted the Sun this morning with an explosion:



The time-lapse view of the mid-day blast isn’t quite as clear as the one from CENAPRED:



The summit is socked in on the webcam at present but the Chipiquixtle webicorder shows that restlessness continues.



June 13, 2019, 12:39 p.m., Pacific: They did an overflight on the 11th and found no evidence of a dome. So, whatever is causing the explosions now must be either lava/ground water interactions or buildup of “gassy” magma.

The link to overflight video, given in the CENAPRED report, gets a 404 NOT FOUND message, but a number of people have put it up on YouTube, for example, this one. Nice views of the ashed-over summit flank. You can’t see the summit crater well because of the fumes, but they estimate it’s 350 meters in diameter.



June 8, 2019, 8:47 a.m., Pacific: This is intriguing:


Screen capture of current Chipiquixtle webicorder. It shows two lengthy events of some sort between 9 and 11 p.m. that each apparently produced seismic waves.


Yet there is no mention of an explosion in this morning’s CENAPRED update. Unfortunately, Popo was socked in early last evening, per the relevant time-lapse video, but when things finally cleared I saw no incandescence.

This morning, there’s a bit of ash on the snow-covered summit, but it could have come from this (tweeted about six hours ago):


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Since the weather did clear around that time, per the video, though Popo was apparently producing quite a fume, too, I wonder if it might be a signature of atmospheric turbulence.

Anyway, here’s the video:




June 5, 2019, 10:35 a.m., Pacific: Tremor and seismic activity are still up, but the deformation is down a bit, per the graph issued with today’s CENAPRED report.

Of note, I accidentally cut off the labels for the top two graphs: that’s exhalations on the top left (Popo “puffs,” basically) and volcanotectonic earthquakes on the top right:




June 3, 2019, 10:01 a.m., Pacific: Since the last blog post, Popo has carried on at its typical recent level, but it does seem to be ramping up a little bit — still in Yellow Phase 2 alert level, though.

Here are this morning’s data as shared in the CENAPRED update:



The summit has been socked in with weather lately, but the Chipiquixtle/Canario webcam caught good shots of explosions this morning, despite the sun glare:



Per Cenapred, ashfall is possible in Ecatzingo and Atlautla, Estado de México [Mexico City and environs, basically]; Ayala, Cuautla, Jantetelco, Jonacatepec, Ocuituco, Temoac, Tetela del volcán, Yecapixtla and Zacualpan, Estado de Morelos; and Acteopan, Atzizihuacan, Cohuean and Tochimilco ,Estado de Puebla.

That’s on both sides of the volcanic range — there must not be strong atmospheric steering currents this morning.



May 23, 2019, 7:30 a.m., Pacific: A big explosion last night around 7:10 p.m. (19:10) local time:



CENAPRED issued two web updates last night (Spanish-language site only). Via Google Translate:

Update May 22, 9:00 p.m. (May 23, 02:00 GMT)

At the time of this update it is reported that the emission of ash and gases that remained after the explosion recorded at 7:10 p.m. has ended. The total duration of the event was 44 minutes. The seismic activity returns to previous levels (image 4). So far there is no report of ash fall.

This type of activity is contemplated in the Yellow Phase 2 Volcanic Alert Traffic Light, any change will be reported in a timely manner.

Update May 22, 7:50 pm (May 23, 00:50 GMT)

At 19:10 an explosion was recorded accompanied by volcanic gases and moderate ash content, whose height reached 3.5 km above the crater. Initially, it was dispersed towards the southwest (video 4) and as it was reaching altitude it changed the direction toward the northeast (video 5) (video 6), so it is probable the fall of ash the municipalities of Atlautla, Ecatzingo, Ozumba, Tepetlixpa , belonging to the State of Mexico; Atlatlahucan, Cuautla, Ocuituco, Tetela del Volcán, Tlayacapan, Totolapan, Yautepec and Yecapixtla, in the state of Morelos. .

At the time of this update, the continuous emission of gases and ash that are scattered to the southwest and whose height does not exceed 500 m are still observed. .

This type of activity is contemplated in the Yellow Phase 2 Volcanic Alert Traffic Light, any change will be reported in a timely manner.



May 16, 2019, 2:04 p.m., Pacific: Popo had a couple of explosions. Per the last overflight, there was no dome seen on May 8th, so I’m not sure what’s causing these. The alert level remains at Yellow Phase 2.




May 9, 2019, 2:42 p.m., Pacific: They did an overflight yesterday, per this morning’s update. Video isn’t available yet, but here’s one of the gorgeous pictures CENAPRED shared:


Volcanologists could find no evidence of a new lava dome.



May 7, 2019, 1:57 p.m., Pacific: They lowered the alert level back to Yellow Phase 2 today!

April 29, 2019, 2:12 p.m., Pacific: Correct me if I’m wrong, but in the following video, the incandescence goes out . . .



. . . around the time that the uppermost episode of tremor stops on this page of the Chipiquixtle (Canario) webicorder:



I think it’s a valid correlation, not merely the summit being concealed by clouds (as it is at the time of writing). You can still see a moving plume in the darkness on that video.

There’s no special meaning to this – a layperson just enjoys being able to spot a connection between two sources of scientific information made available to the public. (G)

The volcanologists, of course, see much more in both videos and webicorders.

But it does raise again one of the most interesting science questions I’ve ever come across: why do volcanoes stop their activity?

In this case, what snuffed out the incandescence?

Just for the record, did a Sunday Morning Volcano post yesterday on Popo, and it includes the most recent overflight video, done last Friday (April 26th). CENAPRED reported that they did not observe a dome during that flight.

After the recent big explosion (see posts further down on this page), the volcano seems to have a different (and less explosive) style. If it must remain active, hope this continues to be the case!

One thing I noted just now, after rewatching the overflight video, is that the fumaroles are back closer to the middle of the crater. That big “hole” shown in the March 30th overflight soon after the explosion, was very close to the northeast crater rim.



Whatever is going on at Don Goyo’s summit crater takes us way beyond the simple model of rising underground magma going up a conduit and erupting in the hole at the top of the volcano as lava!



April 14, 2019, 12:48 p.m., Pacific: Now apparently Don Goyo is switching back over to steam — the first tell-tale white clouds began rising from the crater on the live cam a few minutes ago about three hours ago.


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As you can see from a webcam screen capture earlier this morning, that previous low-level but constant ash emission was light but really hazed up the air. This is actually good for vegetation and soil nearby, but it must be awfully hard to live with day in and day out.


Just enough volcanic ash to settle in, weather, and release nutrients; not enough to weigh down or even bury vegetation and release large amounts of harmful materials like fluorine.



April 12, 2019, 8:46 a.m., Pacific: Another ash emission began yesterday morning, per CENAPRED.



At the time of writing, there is still light ash rising from the crater, and tremor showing on the Chipiquixtle monitor.

Here is video from an overflight they did on the 8th:




April 8, 2019, 11:23 a.m., Pacific: Don Goyo has been rather well behaved lately. Good! It continues to have a low-level emission of gas, vapor, and ashes, as well as VT earthquakes and some tremor, though.



April 4, 2019, 7:51 a.m., Pacific: Per the webicorder and on cams currently, it looks pretty much back to recent background levels of activity in terms of there being a gas/vapor plume, but Popo does seem to be starting to put out a lot more steam (white “cauliflower” clouds, indicating high temperature and convection).



Gonna go out on the prognostication bridge a bit and suggest that this may be the preliminary sign of another ash emission eventually. When? Some time today or overnight.

Will see how that “forecast” goes. I’m basing it on the incredibly intense steam emissions — much more than Don Goyo is showing at the moment — that occurred just before and along with the recent ash emission.

Where does all the water come from? Probably from the magma, though I haven’t read that anywhere. Where else could such quantities of water come from?

The H2O in those white clouds is probably Pacific Ocean water that percolated through some spreading center at the edge of the Cocos Plate (which is the one subducting down into the mantle miles below this part of Mexico), got trapped in the hot rock at the spreading center there a long time ago, and after millions of years of trundling across the sea floor in solid rock, and getting subducted off the Mexican coast, now has been released as the rock melted and just today, right before our eyes, is reaching the surface again.

Where it will eventually rain out and start its journey through the hydrologic cycle all over again.

Overall, I hope this activity today means that Popo will now continue in what the UNAM geophysicists proposed as their first scenario — same level of activity, that is, but without the lava domes. We’ll see.

Follow-up, April 5, 2019, 7:12 p.m., Pacific: Well, I’m batting a thousand with my predictions. 🙂 There was that increase in steaming, as you’ll see in the first time-lapse video below, aaaaand — that was it.

Then the weather became the star performer, leaving the Colossus of Puebla draped in snow, as you can see in the second video!

This volcano is scary, and second only to Vesuvius in the threat it poses to humanity, but it is so majestic and mysterious!






April 3, 2019, 5:21 p.m., Pacific: Just a check-in; I don’t see an ash emission on the cams, but the webicorder has some “squigglyness.”

A check of the news shows that some flights between Puebla and Cancun were canceled this morning because of ash, and Aeromexico delayed a flight to Monterrey, but otherwise no reported changes.

No mention of ash fall.

This is an excerpt typical of the outreach that volcanologists and other authorities are doing, per several news articles. It’s via Google Translate (original here):

David León stressed that the Popocatépetl volcano has not had more activity, but a different dynamic.

That is to say, a routine that went from the formation of domes and the destruction of domes to explosions without domes “, explained David León.

The federal official said that this change of traffic light allowed to strengthen the preventive work that was done. He specified that in the first 15 kilometers near the volcano’s slopes there are 13 municipalities, with a total of 45 thousand inhabitants, so a digital platform was created for media and citizens to see the state in which the 41 exit routes are located , through a video.

It has been a great work of prevention. What I can tell you is that the routes are passable, of course there are areas of opportunity, there are narrow roads, there are bridges that have to be repaired, but today they are operational.”



April 3, 2019, 8:06 a.m., Pacific: Well, this sums up the situation in a tweet, confirmed by a look at the cams and webicorders, which are accessible now:


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My translation: “Yesterday Popocatepetl, at 16:36 h, began an emission of vapor, gas, and small amounts of ash. With some fluctuations, the emission persists now. The column has remained between 400 and 800 meters high, with an initial direction towards the east. The alert remains Yellow Fase 3.”

Here’s what those fluctuations (presumably gas driven) look like on the Chipiquixtle webicorder:



There must be ash fall, but I haven’t found any mentions of it online yet, other than an image on Twitter that I think I saw in an earlier (and much smaller) episode last year.

Apart from this ongoing and, fortunately, low-level episode, here’s a news story, via Google Translate, on how the authorities are responding to the recent uptick in activity.



April 2, 2019, 10:17 p.m., Pacific: Washington VAAC issued a new ash advisory a little less than 2 hours ago.

I can get back into the webicorder site now — that second problem, after the blockage was removed, was probably from so many people trying to get in at once.



April 2, 2019, 9:47 p.m., Pacific: Access to cams and webicorders just came back! The cams are dark (no incandescence, and probably a lot of ash in the area, too); the webicorder is as tweeted in part below. Here is the whole episode on the Chipiquixtle webicorder, and it is still ongoing but diminishing at the moment:






That is a relatively small signal, in this layperson’s view, which is reassuring at a time when the volcano changes its behavior just before darkness falls.

I’m of two minds about the access blockage, which presumably was done intentionally by the government. On the one hand, you’ve got millions of people and you don’t want to alarm them or put out information that can be misinterpreted; also, you’ve got millions of people with Internet access who can crash your networks that must stay open during a volcanic event like this. And you don’t want people looking at their phones if you must call an evacuation; you want them alert and thinking, ready to move as instructed.

On the other hand, as noted above, it’s reassuring to see just how small that signal really is. Even if it had changed, there would still be that trust in government information if the blockage hadn’t happened. Something was lost there, it’s true.

But I don’t know what I would have done, if it had been up to me.

Another one of the complexities of managing a volcano crisis in this high-tech era.

10:05 p.m., Pacific: Nope; the Chipiquixtle webicorder page has switched over to the CENAPRED Popocatepetl blog (with no update beyond this morning’s daily report) and the cams won’t load again.

Well, hopefully Don Goyo will just settle down and the people watching him can work it out overnight. As mentioned below, I do wonder if this emission has further opened whatever pathway cleared after last week’s two explosions. There will be more heard from the volcano over coming days and weeks . . .



April 2, 2019, 9:05 p.m., Pacific: A second-hand look at the Chipiquixtle webicorder. From a tweet from Volcan Popocatepetl (WebcamsdeMexico, I think), it sounds like the public access to cams has been blocked, too.

Thanks to those sharing these images on social media!


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Note that he points out that the signal is trending downward in intensity. Time will tell if that’s heading for a pause or an end of this particular episode.

By the way, the Sentinel satellite got an overhead view of the explosion on March 28th:


Pierre Markuse, CC BY 2.0.


Those two explosions last week must have opened up some pathway. I wonder how much farther it’s opening up with this emission.



April 2, 2019, 7:55 p.m., Pacific: Latest cam images from Tlamacas, per Civil Protection:


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It’s weird — no incandescence. Where’s the magma? Probably in the conduit, though at some depth as there’s no glow on that column at all.

By the way, UNAM/CENAPRED had a press conference this morning (summary here, in Spanish); lots of steam followed by a continuous low-level ash emission was not among the three scenarios offered.

It’s really, really hard to predict volcanic activity, even after 24-plus years of eruption.

Let’s be grateful that the conduit obviously is still open. Pressurization for days to weeks, followed by a big blast, doesn’t seem imminent, at least at the moment; the problem would be if the rising magma stalled in the conduit and formed a plug.



April 2, 2019, 6:45 p.m., Pacific: It’s a continuous emission and is ongoing, but quite light thus far, per Civil Protection, with no reports of ashfall yet:


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Predicted ashfall track is east to northeast.


SMN


Latest VAAC advisories here.



April 2, 2019, 6:19 p.m. Pacific: I can’t get into the Chipquixtle webicorder site, nor the webcams (and the time-lapse YouTube video that usually goes to 18:59 stopped today at 15:59, so there probably is a problem on CENAPRED’s end).

However, via the live cam, Popo is puffing . . .

SMN


Even with backlighting, that does appear to have some ash in it, given the fallout on the left.


. . . and Civil Protection in Puebla tweeted, about an hour ago, a warning that some communities nearby might see some ash:


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March 31, 2019, 10:36 p.m., Pacific: Overflight yesterday; CENAPRED did an extra update tonight and released this video. The alert status hasn’t changed, but that’s an unusual place to have an explosion crater, on the side, not in the bottom of the summit crater, IMO.



Not sure, but I think that crater wall is east, on the Puebla side. Now I understand the uptick in Puebla Civil Protection tweets about clearing evacuation routes:


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March 30, 2019, 3:35 p.m., Pacific: All fairly quiet today thus far, but some nice strombolian (gas-driven small explosions and fountaining) activity last night:




March 31, 2019, 7:48 a.m., Pacific: Just one example of the world-class volcano preparedness that Mexico’s governmental and academic authorities are practicing in this unique emergency – shelters are ready for people living near the volcano in Puebla just in case (other announcements I’ve seen have reported other shelter readiness, too).

In addition to this, there are constant checks and re-checks of evacuation routes, and other things as well. Volanologists speak calmly and share everything they know about the volcano’s current state.

This is how you keep a population at risk calm and ready for anything. In a way, it is a sort of “war of nerves” between humanity and the volcano, and the volcano is NOT winning.


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March 29, 2019, 12:38 p.m.: Not surprisingly, after that explosion, they’ve raised the alert this morning to Yellow, Phase 3.

Addendum: Also, Don Goyo had another big explosion last night around 8 p.m. local time:



Here’s a good article (Spanish) on the recent events.



March 27, 2019, 11:58 a.m., Pacific: It was the explosion, per CENAPRED this morning:

March 27, 11:00 h (March 27, 17:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems, 200 exhalations were identified, accompanied by steam and gas, and a few exhalations with a slight amounts of ash Morelos . . . There was also an explosion yesterday at 19:23 h, which generated a 3 km column and moved northeast. The explosion released fragments up to 2 km on the slopes and caused fires in the area of pastures around the volcano that continue to the north and east. Derived from the explosion, ash fall was reported in Santa Cruz, Atlixco, San Pedro, San Andrés y Santa Isabel Cholula y San Pedro Benito Juárez, it was also reported in municipalities of Puebla and Hueyapan and Tetela del Volcán and municipalities of Morelo . . .



Oh yeah.




March 26, 2019, 6:55 p.m., Pacific: A big explosion reported by CENAPRED; it happened about an hour and a half ago. Not sure what’s going on now, per the webcam images:


View from Tlamacas cam.



View from Altzomoni



However, about 20 minutes ago, Puebla’s Civil Protection tweeted that the alert level is still yellow, phase 2.

7:11 p.m., Pacific: Had a little trouble getting into the live cam, perhaps because half the world was trying to view it, too, but once in it shows basically just Popo’s typical incandescence these days.

The Chipiquixtle webicorder is not scary, either.

Having been fooled by a forest fire on the volcano’s flanks years ago, I’m thinking that explosion ignited forests up there. The wind is really bad in the area, and has been for a couple of days, at least: fire could be a terrible problem, too. No word yet. Will keep an eye out for news.


7:21 p.m., Pacific: Yep. Forest fires. And this tweet is 4 hours old, so it wasn’t the explosion. Sigh.


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Don’t know when they began, or how, but the air around the volcano showed no smoke when I last checked the webcams — about 6 hours ago.



March 21, 2019, 12:13 p.m., Pacific: Some young people climbed up to the crater earlier this week. Don Goyo did not kill them. Of course I’m not going to link to their video of the exploit, though I appreciate the human success of the climb and the spirit in which it was made.

It was still stupid.

I’ve seen other videos; one from years ago, when the volcano was quieter but still active. No point in linking that one, nor to the one made by some people who did get killed up there.

I can’t, in all honesty, suggest these people are possible Darwin Award candidates – humanity is around today because we do these types of things, especially our young adults. But I cannot praise it, because I would feel like an accomplice to the inevitable deaths and maimings.

CENAPRED knows who they are, per the news story linked above (in English, via Google Translate). Besides counseling, I would suggest that they, and others who might be inclined to do something similar, be required to read Surviving Galeras, by Dr. Stanley Williams. It’s an account of a really bad day at another Latin American volcano, when volcanologists were caught in the crater during an explosion.

The Mexican climbers should read it as part of the transition to adulthood.

Yes, we admire your spirit. But there is a future, and it depends on what you do now, during a time when it seems as though you are both invulnerable and immortal.

We would like to share that future with you. Please join us there, as strong and healthy as you possibly be.

Please. Respect the safety radius.



March 15, 2019, 1:25 p.m., Pacific: A summary of this morning’s CENAPRED report:


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It was quite an explosion:




March 8, 2019, 6:29 p.m., Pacific: They went up yesterday to see how the lava dome was doing, but degassing was so heavy that they couldn’t get much data (it’s not on the film, but there was an explosion up there during the overflight; apparently it didn’t affect the equipment or team, fortunately — at least there was no mention of effects):



Also, this afternoon, CENAPRED issued an update:

At 15:24 hours an explosion occurred which produced a column with low ash content, which initially reached a height of 1500 m above the crater. Later, when being displaced by winds with southwest direction, the emission arrived approximately at 3000 m . . . It is possible that in the next few hours there will be a slight drop of ash in communities of this sector as Tochimilco, San Francisco Huilango and Huaquechula.

The alert level is still Yellow, Phase 2. I can’t find any news reports of ash online on a quick search.



February 23, 2019, 11:42 a.m., Pacific: Less tremor (211 minutes is a lot, but less than earlier in the week) but way more LP quakes reported by CENAPRED this morning: 62.

At the moment, Popo is pouring out a big steam plume.



February 22, 2019, 2:39 p.m., Pacific: Per CENAPRED this morning, 19 long-period quakes over the preceding 24 hours and 905 minutes of low- to medium-amplitude tremor.

Here’s an overview of Chipquixtle seismicity since the 19th:


Chipquixtle




February 21, 2019, 11:34 a.m., Pacific: 1432 minutes of low-amplitude tremor overnight, per this morning’s CENAPRED update, and 10 long-period quakes over the last 24 hours. Per the webcams, the volcano continues to simmer.



February 20, 2019, 3:02 p.m., Pacific: A new overflight this week:



That crater looks larger (they say the dome is 200 m [almost 700 feet] across), but it’s good to see that the surface is nowhere near the crater-wall rim (which could lead to pyroclastic flows down the volcano’s flanks).

Also, per CENAPRED today (emphasis and link added):

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems registered 11 long period seismic events with light emission of steam and gas . . . and two explosions at 02:10h and 04:07h . . .

Additionally, it was registered a volcanotectonic earthquake, yesterday at 21:02h, with magnitude 1.9. Also were detected 1424 minutes of low and medium amplitude tremor.

The Chipiquixtle webicorder shows that the tremor slowly waxed, reached its peak for a while, and has since slowly waned since:


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“What?”–Popocatepetl. (Current image from Altzomoni webcam)


February 18, 2019, 8:50 a.m. Pacific: Per the time-lapse videos, it looks to this layperson as though Don Goyo went back into its former phase overnight. The steady stream of ash/vapor plume–shown stunningly under bright moonlight!–transitioned into the former very light plume with intermittent “puffs” that we’ve seen in recent months (once again, even that is much more activity than I saw through the webcams years ago).

But that didn’t last long; there was more incandescence and then explosions instead of puffs.


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That style kept on through 6 a.m. local time, the last video uploaded thus far today.

I’d say that transition point coincided with a change on the Chipiquixtle webicorder:


The conduit probably got blocked; pressure built up; boom!; open conduit briefly; blockage again–repeat cycle.

Perhaps there is a lava dome under construction up there now, but there sure wasn’t when Popo was having its Strombolian eruptions day before yesterday!


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From reading about it, I understand that Strombolian eruptions are due to gas, in particular, large bubbles exsolved from magma that burst at the surface in lava. And per the transition in the volcano’s eruptive style, night before last, I thought perhaps the “gassy magma packet” that had arrived at the crater was done and the conduit was just filled with gas and light ash again.

Now I’m thinking that was more than a “packet” and, of course, this rising magma in the conduit had most of its gas at its “leading edge,” so to speak. That would reach the surface first; now there is less volatile-heavy magma up there, perhaps, that’s building a dome.

The video only went until 6 a.m. local time, but apparently Don Goyo is still at it:


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There was no rise in deformation shown on yesterday’s graphics in the CENAPRED report, which is reassuring (though Popocatepetl is said to be a low-deformation system), but this is quite a quick transition in style: 2-3 days is a blink of the geological eye. Perhaps it was/is a small packet of atypically gassy magma. However, perhaps it’s coming up at a faster rate.

That would imply that something is pushing it, or at least that conditions have changed somehow in a way that accelerates the rate of magma reaching the surface.

Again, as mentioned in recent notes, if you’re new to this, all the fuss here on this lay volcanophile blog is because volcanologists announced last summer that there is a lot of magma down there, though it’s difficult to say when (and how) it will be erupted–it might not even come up, I know, since eruptions can stall.

The volcano’s presence amid some 25 million people, not to mention its history of occasional large eruptions and some flank collapses now and then, make this a particularly nerve-wracking moment of geologic time for human beings.

Well, we’ll see how things go over the next few days, weeks, months, and, perhaps, years. This be how Popo rolls.



February 17, 2019, 4:23 p.m., Pacific: Well, I’ve waited all day, but Popo settled down into a steady venting of light ash and vapors overnight, per the time-lapse videos, and except for one rather ashy-looking puff this morning, has remained at that level ever since.

However, that apparently steady and smooth plume is being caused by some sort of inner turmoil–I have no idea what, but this has been going on all day, per the Chipiquixtle webicorder:



However, there’s no change in deformation in this morning’s CENAPRED graphic. Check out that tremor, though!




February 16, 2019, 3:46 p.m., Pacific: Popo is in the middle of another episode:


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Chipquixtle webicorder:


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The latest news I can get via Google News and Twitter is that the alert is still Yellow Phase 2. Good. The volcanologists have excellent information sources. But as a layperson who’s just done a little reading, this still reminds me a little of “throat clearing.”

Sigh. Hope not.

4:13 p.m., Pacific: Just saw this. Still Yellow, Phase 2.


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The alert level continues at Yellow Phase 2 — it’s impressive looking, especially with a setting sun behind the ash column, but there isn’t a lot of force behind it. . . yet.

Also, the view from Chipiquixtle is encouraging:


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This webcam is up near the summit: see how the winds up there are still able to shift the column. The activity level is increased, but there isn’t a whole lot of power behind this column yet. Fortunately! (Nice background shot of the Moon, too!)

If you’re new to Popocatepetl, just a note that all the excitement is because the volcanologists who monitor this Mexican volcano in the midst of some 25 million people announced last summer that there is a large amount of magma down there and it’s going to come up, but no one knows when.


Er, I have been wrong before . . .


imagenPopoChipiquixtle
The winds are still keeping it from rising straight up, but that’s some serious convection in the plume, IMLO (in my layperson’s opinion).

Incredibly, per Washington VAAC, the ash plume is heading straight north, not over Mexico City OR Puebla. Amazing!


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February 16, 2019, 7:34 a.m., Pacific: It’s too early for a CENAPRED update today (and they haven’t issued any interim reports on the website linked below, which they do sometimes). However, Don Goyo put on a magnificent but terrifying show under the moonlight last night:



Here’s the current Chipiquixtle webicorder:




February 15, 2019, 12:56 p.m., Pacific: Strombolian activity is NOT lava dome explosions: change in eruptive activity! The alert remains at Yellow, Phase 2, though.

Per CENAPRED this morning:

February 15, 11:00 h (February 15, 17:00 GMT)

From 21:00 h yesterday began an episode of strombolian activity that consisted of harmonic tremor accompanied by explosions, which generated the emission of incandescent fragments which reached a distance of approximately 1.5 km on the flanks of the volcano, the height of the eruptive column was 2 km, which was dispersed preferably towards the southwest (vídeo 1) and (vídeo 2). The total duration of the episode was seven hours, after which the seismic activity returned to previous levels. Derived from this activity, at the time of this report has been detected ash fall in the communities of Hueyapan, Tetela del Volcán, Zacualpan, Temoac, Jantetelco, Cuautla, Ocuituco and Yecapixtla, belonging to the state of Morelos, as well as in Tochimilco, Puebla .

Additionally, 67 exhalations were recorded accompanied by steam and gases, in addition to five explosions, four recorded yesterday at 3:28 pm (image 1), 16:02 (image 2), 18:24 and 19:35 h, in all cases the eruptive column was less than 1 km high with low ash content, the last explosion was recorded at 04:09 h today (image 3). In addition, 10 minutes of low amplitude harmonic tremor were recorded. At the time of this report, continues a light emission of gases that are dispersed to the southwest direction (image 4).

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments (image 5) and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

Here are the movies they included:






This is what it looked like on the Chipiquixtle webicorder:


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They should rename this volcano Jekyll/Hyde. 🙂



Webcam image from 2:59 p.m., Pacific. Yes, the volcano is under an ash advisory at the moment.


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Per this Puebla PC tweet, posted about 15 minutes ago, this light-ash/gas emission just began and is heading for the states of Morelos and Mexico (Mexico City, basically); here’s a close-up from the Chipiquixtle webcam:


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February 14, 2019, 10:23 a.m. Pacific: Aaaaand with all that on the 10th (scroll down to update), no larger event happened. Today, Popo is currently under a VAAC advisory, though.

Yesterday I was working on this Sunday’s “Morning Volcano” post, and while watching the video below realized that the early activity shown in Vesuvius in 79 AD, starting around 0:41, is exactly what Popo does (minus the “puffs”); in the video, it’s a sign of alarm for the residents. At Popo, which is so slowly ramping it, it’s just Thursday.

Sigh. Most explosive volcanoes, I understand, do progress into a full eruption rather quickly after an ash plume first appears, although there is a lot of variation from volcano to volcano and eruptions are very complicated processes; anyway, this low-level activity of long duration is one of Popocatepetl’s hallmarks.

Meanwhile, back at Pompeii . . .



By the way, as mentioned in some of the earlier posts, Popocatepetl does have its own “Pompeii,” called Tetimpa, in Puebla State. As in Pompeii back in 79 AD, the people living there got out in time when the volcano had an estimated VEI 4 eruption around 823 AD.

In fact, they all escaped–no human remains have been found yet at Tetimpa.



February 10, 2018 2019 (I’m still doing that!), 10:44 a.m., Pacific: This morning’s CENAPRED update is impressive (emphasis added):

February 10, 11:00 h (February 10, 17:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems, 243 exhalations were identified, accompanied by steam, gas and ash. . . Also, were recorded 34 minutes of harmonic tremor fo [sic] low amplitude. During the night the crater was visible and incandescence was observed in some the exhalations . . .

At the time of this report, continues a light emission of gases that are dispersed to the south direction . . .

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.


Current webicorder image from Chipiquixtle:


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The last VAAC advisory for Popo was yesterday. Webcams do show light ash in the air around the volcano but no “puff” at the moment.

There does seem to be an rising steam plume currently, per the Los Ranchos webcam, but it is mostly obscured by cloud (hope that link works).



January 28, 2019,5:37 p.m., Pacific: CENAPRED conducted an overflight yesterday:


It’s just amazing to watch this volcano, in the midst of well over 20 million people, slowly ramping up, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. You know it’s coming (Popo has had a few VEI 6 eruptions, and there is a pre-Hispanic “Pompeii” called Tetimpa), but you don’t know when…or really, how big it will be, though UNAM volcanologists did say last year that there was a “large” amount of magma down there not too far.

Just as a reminder, here is the CENAPRED list of risks at the volcano. Most of the words are similar in English and Spanish: “ceniza” is ash, “peligros” is dangers. In light of Anak Krakatau’s disastrous collapse recently, check out that yellow flank collapse risk to the south!


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These are all potential risks, but no one knows what the volcano will actually do next.


January 30, 2019, 1:06 p.m., Pacific: A P.S.:

I got behind while finishing up the book and missed this spectacular explosion (soon after moonrise)on January 22nd in the early evening:



That’s probably what spurred Sunday’s overflight. UNAM experts told journalists, per this article (Spanish), that it was the most significant explosion since Popocatepetl reawoke in 1994, but that the energy released was relatively low (compared to a full eruption, I suppose).



January 24, 2019,12:32 p.m., Pacific: A short but nice video posted about 4 hours ago:


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No change in alert status, but this morning’s CENAPRED update reports quite a lot of low-level activity over the last 24 hours.

Imagine living next to a volcano that does this and has been active for 24 years this way, sloooooowly ramping up over time. That’s stressful, but so is knowing that if Popo had suddenly begun doing this, say, five years ago, everybody would be freaking out about now.

Fortunately, the volcanologists have gotten more funding, per recent news reports, and they can watch this volcano more closely; plans are to monitor it so even during inclement weather.

This volcano has had big eruptions and flank collapses in the past. Something big is coming, but no one knows when . . .



January 22, 2019,1:33 p.m., Pacific: No change in alert status. I simply noticed on the webcam that Don Goyo’s snow field is completely darkened by ash at the moment:



And the Chipiquixtle webicorder shows that the volcano is not as still inside as it appears from the outside–harmonic tremor, probably; this morning’s CENAPRED update reported over an hour’s worth of low-amplitude tremor during the past 24 hours.

Dr. Zepeda has tweeted that harmonic tremor here can be due to the movement of fluids within the edifice (not necessarily just magma).


After all, Popo is a subduction zone volcano and a lot of water enters the Earth below central Mexico along with the Cocos tectonic plate.


January 18, 2019,9:08 a.m., Pacific: The current Chipiquixtle webicorder:



I thought it was volcanic at first, but the volcano seems unchanged visually:



Then I saw that this just happened about half an hour ago–USGS lists it as magnitude 6 at present:


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The seismic waves are going through Popocatepetl in unusual ways, as shown by the instruments at Chipiquixtle–unusual, that is, compared to how they would travel through a mountain.

Wish I were a seismologist, so I could read whatever information about the volcano’s internal workings that squiggly tracing shows!

I wonder if this will have any effect on Popo’s activity, given its currently elevated level.


Addendum, 5:02 p.m., Pacific: Apparently not, as Popo seems at its most recent baseline on the webcams and CENAPRED hasn’t addressed this AFAIK.

Here is the Chipiquixtle webicorder whole sequence, which lasted about half an hour:


You can see the volcano pattern continue after the East Pacific Rise quake waves are through.


January 10, 2019,9:50 a.m., Pacific: Work on the book has kept me busy, and CENAPRED hasn’t changed the alert status, so posts here have been few. However, Popo has been ramping up a bit over the past weeks (at least this layperson thinks so), and that is from an already elevated level.

I haven’t followed it in detail, but there is a little time this morning and I see this: three exhalations in an hour!


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The Colossus of Puebla is mostly socked in by weather clouds on the current webcams, but here’s a shot of it, merely degassing, taken about an hour ago, per a Puebla State Civil Protection tweet:


Check out linked webicorders and the CENAPRED daily update link for most current information 24/7.


January 2, 2019,2:02 p.m., Pacific: Happy New Year, all!

This caught my eye today:


Chipiquixtle webicorder at time of writing.

The CENAPRED update isn’t up yet at the English-language site, and I immediately checked the news: nothing major has changed with Don Goyo.

A look at the time-lapse videos shows what caused it: wind. You can’t see much in the midnight-to-0500 video, but it’s worth noting because Orion constellation slowly marches across the background sky behind the volcano, followed by Sirius.

Weather: 1. Popocatepetl: 0






December 20, 2018, 9 a.m., Pacific: It’s a little too early for the CENAPRED daily update, but here is a gorgeous image from a tweet by CENAPRED’s Dr. Zepeda. In it, he also says that LP earthquakes at Popocatepetl (things like tornillos, I suppose) are from the movement of fluids inside the volcano’s conduit.


Any resemblance to J. R. R. Tolkien’s written description of Mount Doom is purely coincidental. 🙂


December 17, 2018, 1:23 p.m., Pacific: There is a typo in the English-language CENAPRED bulletin (see link near top of page) for today: it’s 139 exhalations per the Spanish-language report (this link may or may not work, but it’s the official one), not 1,139.

Nevertheless, per this same report, the deformation is slightly up and seismic activity is noticeably elevated over the last 24 hours (though as Dr. Zepeda pointed out in a tweet, it didn’t increase after Saturday’s big explosion):



Alert status is unchanged, and actually Popocatepetl is back to its apparent waiting game today. Still, the Chipiquixtle webicorder shows that the volcano is not asleep.



That is low-level, routine activity in this currently elevated phase of the eruption.

What I’m going to keep an eye out for in coming days, weeks, months–and years are not out of the question with this volcano!–is an increase in deformation.

Remember, now, I’m a layperson and this is just speculation. Still, I recall seeing the epicenters of recent earthquakes shown in a CENAPRED graphic from late November:


Note that none of these is in the volcanic edifice itself, but they are rising.

Assuming that those epicenters mark the present location of the large quantity of magma that volcanologists mentioned a few months ago, it apparently hasn’t gotten into the edifice yet, but is fairly close.

I assume that rising magma is keeping the conduit pressurized and resulting in the increased level of activity. When those epicenters get higher up in the current volcanic mountain, there will be trouble.

Or the eruption could just stall out. No one can see that deeply into the Earth to say what is going on down there.

Volcanoes are very difficult to understand, and I respect enormously those scientists who rise to the challenge and try to do that and also to predict their activities.

We’ll just have to wait and see what Popocatepetl does next.



December 16, 2018, 10:45 a.m., Pacific: No change in the status, but Popo had a big explosion last evening, not long after sunset. It had been rather active during the day, too, as this CENAPRED video shows:



Here is the time-lapse with the explosion, which covered the entire summit with fragments.



I thought there might be events overnight, but the volcano appeared quiet, without showing incandescence, per CENAPRED’s report this morning.

Now, though, waviness is showing up on Chipiquixtle webicorder again and Popo may have more fireworks in store later today and/or tonight.

Addendum: Just across this tweet by Puebla State Civil Protection and learned that Don Goyo had already set some off earlier this morning.




December 12, 2018, 9:23 a.m., Pacific: I am preparing my two ebooks on domestic cats for publication and, while keeping an eye on Popo, probably won’t be documenting anything less than a major change, like raising the alert level (lowering it does not seem likely in view of the volcano’s continuing to crank up activity).

Still, you don’t see this very often! It’s undoctored and from a reliable source.


A meteor really did fall over Popocatepetl at night!



December 8, 2018, 4:41 p.m., Pacific: At the moment, the webcams are clear and Popo appears quiet, but it has been active. Check out the daily update (link to English version up above); there is also a VAAC advisory out, I think. The Chipiquixtle webicorder “waviness” did settle down, but after that came the intermittent explosions, including this one last night:



That’s one big firecracker!

I think the waviness did mean extruding lava/degassing; when it got blocked, perhaps, is when explosions happened.

Still, the volcano’s status is Yellow, Phase 2.



December 7, 2018, 12:43 p.m., Pacific: Today I could spend some time with the Los Ranchos live stream, and the weather around Popocatepetl cooperated, too. To my layperson’s eyes, it looked like a steady but very low-level emission of stuff, with one “puff” (what CENAPRED calls “exhalations”).

Interestingly, at the “puff,” a hush fell over the human-generated background noises: everybody in the region must keep an eye out for activity from this “smoking mountain.” Only a few minutes after it had settled down did the noises resume.

I noticed that much of the emission was a bluish-white, compared to the weather clouds nearby. At height, it was very light ash. I’ve read that sulfur compounds from volcanoes are bluish-white; there seemed to be quite a bit today. Erupted lava or magma near the surface would degas; I’m thinking it’s lava, since sometimes the rising bluish-white stuff would be vertical for a ways above the crater rim, signifying a thermal plume heat source, before it dissipated, leaving the ash to continue rising.

There seemed to be very little steam, at least over the last hour and a half or so. Also, no explosive gray ashy clouds appeared, either. The puff was a little grayish but not much, in comparison with other recent activity.

So that activity on the Chipiquixtle webicorder (see earlier note this morning) was perhaps the movement of gas or perhaps lava extrusion?

Whatever it was, it seems to be calming down a bit now.

Wonder if we’ll see bright incandescence tonight . . .



December 7, 2018, 10:22 a.m., Pacific: Well, the Chipiquixtle webicorder doesn’t look good . . .


CENAPRED

. . . but the volcano appears relatively quiet on the Los Ranchos camera (see embeds above or in yesterday’s post below). However, it’s under a VAAC advisory because of a small emission several hours ago. That looked pretty small on the video included in today’s CENAPRED update, not worthy of such seismic disturbance as seen on the webicorder at present.

Am thinking the dome is really under pressure now and we can expect fireworks soon.

Of note, yesterday’s events led to ashfall in two nearby communities, per CENAPRED this morning.


At time of writing, Popocatepetl sits looking rather sullen under cloudy skies, its formerly gleaming white snow darkened with ash from yesterday and earlier today.


December 6, 2018, 1:52 p.m., Pacific: Well, it seems to be slackening off a bit, though there is still continuous emission. Shortly after the last note, a column went up fairly high, but then it fell victim to the upper winds: still not enough convective energy to mount a “normal” eruption plume.

Yet.

We’ll see how it goes. I’ve got to get to work, but will include a time-lapse video of the afternoon’s events from this source later.

Update, 4:08 p.m., Pacific: Here it is: Unfortunately, it’s too cloudy up there to see much. Things seem to be clearing towards the end of the video, though the volcano is still socked in on the webcam I just checked. Perhaps it will clear tonight.




December 6, 2018, 1:38 p.m., Pacific: Just checked the cam routinely, and there appears to be more of a traditional eruption going on–very low level at the moment–not the typical “Popo puff.”

The Los Ranchos cam is interesting:



Here’s a screen shot from the Tlamacas webcam:



It looks to me like the volcano is trying to get going, but not quite ready for it yet. However, alert level is still Yellow Phase 2 and no VAAC advisories are up at the website as far as I can tell.



December 6, 2018, 12:07 p.m., Pacific: This happened about an hour ago, per Dr. Zepeda, who also tweets a video of the event:



I don’t see a VAAC advisory up for it yet, though Popo did get one overnight for another eruption. Per today’s CENAPRED update, they registered almost 200 minutes of harmonic tremor over the last 24 hours!

Here’s the graphic from today’s report:



Per Puebla’s Civil Protection Twitter feed this morning, modeling shows that any emissions today will head over Mexico City (the other side of the range from Puebla).



December 5, 2018, 10:11 a.m., Pacific: More of the same, actually: overnight incandescence and explosions, but quieter spells, too. VAAC advisories were issued, but they just gave Popo the all-clear again.

With this morning’s update, CENAPRED issued a lovely video of an eruption around sunset last night, as viewed from the Tlamacas cam. (Note: It isn’t dramatic, compared with, say, Pinatubo’s 1991 activity, but this is very elevated activity for Popocatepetl, and this eruptive column goes a little bit higher and lasts longer than the vulcanian puffs here have been doing: the volcano is cranking up, for sure, but it could continue this way for some time or just let loose suddenly. This must be one of the most difficult volcano emergencies to monitor in the world right now, and it’s soon to go into its 25th year.)




December 4, 2018, 10:47 a.m., Pacific:


Nice screen capture of last night’s activity from Pueba State’s Civil Protection Twitter feed.

Popo has been more active the past two days, but unfortunately so have I; could only get to it now.

CENAPRED’s Dr. Zepeda tweets (I ran it through Google Translate):

In the last 24 hours, through the monitoring systems of Popocatépetl volcano, we identified: – 70 exhalations – 2 explosions – 25 minutes of harmonic tremor – 8 volcanotectonic earthquakes The 🚦 remains in Yellow Phase 2 pic.twitter.com/ k9Jv26m9yh

It is recommended: 1. Continue with the radius of 12 km, so that staying in that area is not allowed. 2. Maintain controlled traffic between Santiago Xalitzintla and San Pedro Nexapa, via Paso de Cortés. 3. To the PC authorities, maintain their preventive procedures.

Here is the graphic from today’s update:


November didn’t seem to have THAT much seismicity, but obviously it did. (The “how to boil a frog” comparison from “Dante’s Peak” comes to mind.) And now today there is a lot, too.

There have been a number of VAAC advisories, yesterday and thus far today, but at the moment they give the volcano all clear.



December 2, 2018, 10:09 a.m., Pacific:

About 2-1/2 hours ago; sure, there’s a VAAC advisory up now.

However, the Chipiquixtle webicorder shows none of that former “waviness” now, though this explosion (there was one earlier today, too, per CENAPRED) and other events are there.



At the moment, the webcams are clear and there appears (to me, anyway) to be an unusual double plume: one of steam (the white curly “Don Goyo” clouds) and one of gas (sulfur gases at volcanoes are sometimes bluish-white):


Not sure why ash/gas would travel in one direction and steamy clouds sink–perhaps because water is lighter than gas (and the ash is extremely pulverized)?

The plumes from another webcam:


With them diverging at the crater, it doesn’t seem like wind direction matters as much as density of the plume material: water molecules versus gas molecules.

Here is video of the first explosion (toward the end, after moon–such as it is–has risen); scientific cameras don’t do justice to what must be a majestic scene in real life as the stars slowly progress across the clear night sky over the steaming mountain!



There seems to have been a smaler “puff” a few moments before the big boom (which was probably the lava dome partially exploding).

Here is this morning’s time-lapse video. I see three events in this one, but the volcanologists must be more precise and, of course, know more about what’s actually going on in the crater.



This one interests me because you can see emissions increase before that first (and largest) explosion; I haven’t noticed that with other explosions at Popo that I’ve happened to catch.

A news report (Spanish) from the 29th says that army representatives are visiting communities near the volcano to check on and coordinate with their “Plan Popocatepetl.”

This is good preparation, of course, and it’s probably also meant as reassurance–have seen other reports of rumors of impending huge eruptions earlier this past week. Government officials and scientists denied them all.

It struck me that this happened while Popo was completely shrouded day after day in cloud. I can understand the psychological effect of that–it’s so much easier to deal wtih a restless giant that you can actually see.

Glad the Colossus of Puebla wasn’t hidden during its explosions over the last several hours!



November 30, 2018, 2018, 4:32 p.m. Pacific: No change from yesterday, and no new VAAC advisories. Things seem to be clearing at the time of writing, and I wanted to embed this video, which is only interesting toward the end, where you can see an enormous cloud of steam (looks like) coming from the volcano; indeed, I wonder if the obscuring clouds earlier were from that or from weather. I’ve never seen Popo with such a big cloud of steam (but I haven’t been observing it for very long, either):




November 29, 2018, 6:51 p.m., Pacific: Whatever was happening to disturb the Chipiquixtle webicorder seems to have settled down in the last few hours. The volcano is still socked in. No VAAC advisories, fortunately (volcanic ash gets very heavy when wet, so rainfall during a productive eruption is bad news).



November 29, 2018, 12:11 p.m., Pacific: No VAAC advisories since the 26th.


Yes, Virginia. There is a volcano in there, and its webicorder looks weird (see below).


Current Chipiquixtle webicorder. PPIG is showing a little roughness, but not as much as when I mentioned it in these notes below. Per CENAPRED this morning: “In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems, 49 exhalations were identified, accompanied by steam and gas . Additionally, were recorded 12 minutes of harmonic tremor and two explosions yesterday at 12:57 h and 20:02 h.”


My guess is: (a) Popo is having a few vulcanian eruptions per usual, but the ash isn’t getting through the weather clouds; (b) the dome is pressurizing and getting more and more unstable.



November 28, 2018, 3:19 p.m., Pacific: Not sure what’s going on up there; unfortunately, the volcano is socked in on the webcams just now.



Dr. Zepeda tweets that Popo had an explosion at 12:57 p.m.

There are no VAAC advisories in effect for Popocatepetl today, though it did trigger one yesterday.



November 27, 2018, 9:21 p.m., Pacific: CENAPRED’s Dr. Zepeda tweeted this image of the locations of volcanotectonic quakes over the month of November; red is oldest, blue is most recent.


Note that none of these is in the volcanic edifice itself, but they are rising.

At the moment, there is some waviness on the Chipiquixtle webicorder and, though it’s difficult to see, what looks like a good head of steam from the summit, per the Tlamacas came. No VAAC advisories since the 23rd.



November 26, 2018, 11:06 p.m., Pacific: A little waviness on the Chipiquixtle webicorder, but not as much as those shown below.

This video is interesting because it’s not really clear what’s going on after sunset at first. Is that incandescence in the upper right (Tlamacas cam)? I don’t know. But then the moon slowly rises and the scene brightens to show Popo is emitting lots of steam. Note the gleam in the lower right (Chipiquixtle cam)–that’s not incandescence, which this cam doesn’t seem to pick up, even during nights of intense activity as on the 20th; that’s the moon peeking through the steam clouds as it rises above Popocatepetl’s summit.



November 26, 2018, 1:48 p.m., Pacific: I think Don Goyo is playing games with us. The Canario/Chipiquixtle webicorder current image is below, but CENAPRED only reports 5 minutes of tremor and does not mention earthquakes over this period. (More realistically, the dome is probably slowly pressurizing and will eventually blow in coming days or weeks.)



About 8 hours ago, Washington VAAC said there might be ash emission, but later said it wasn’t. Certainly, from the webcams, very light ash is visible floating in the air around the volcano–that’s par for the course.

Dr. Zepeda tweeted this image of where each of CENAPRED’s cams (not all of them are online) are located relative to the volcano.





November 26, 2018, 12:38 a.m., Pacific: A late-night check. Popo had another episode of “wavy stuff” (am assuming that’s LP quake and tremor activity; will see if CENAPRED mentions it in tomorrow’s update). However, it settled down again (well, mostly–the waviness is still there somewhat). The webcam from Los Ranchos is clear and there is no incandescence at the crater. The volcano seems to be leaking light quantities of ash, per baseline these days, but nothing that has called for a VAAC advisory since the 23rd.




Shared by Puebla Civil Protection

Not much change in the daily update today (you can read those at the link near the top of this page).

Fortunately, whatever was going on in the volcano did not lead to an increased activity level. Here is the whole webicorder readout for yesterday’s activity (such as it was):


Canario Station, Chipiquixtle


November 24, 2018, 7:48 a.m., Pacific: Popo has continued to be sedate up until this morning. Just in the last hour or so there seems to be more waviness (tremor) on the Chipiquixtle webicorder, and in camera views it appears to be puffing more frequently–nothing intense yet, just a mild uptick.

Note the earthquake series that precedes the change.



Per Puebla’s PC_Estatal Twitter (Civil Protection officials in Puebla), this was going on before sunrise:




November 22, 2018, 11:58 a.m., Pacific: CENAPRED did an overflight of the crater this morning, taking advantage of the lull in explosive activity.



November 21, 11:00 h (November 21, 17:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems, 46 exhalations were identified, accompanied by steam, gas and light amounts of ash (image 1). Additionally, an exhalation train of long period events accompanied by tremor with duration of 1441 minutes was recorded, registered from November 20 at 14:27 h, to November 21 at 16:07 h. The intense phase lasted 790 minutes (13 h) from November 20 at 16:07 h until yesterday at 05:07 h. Finally one volcanotectonic event was recorded yesterday at 10:09 h with magnitude 2.6 and seven minutes of harmonic tremor. During the night was possible to observe incandescence at the moment of some events (image 2).

Today, with the support of the Secretary of the Navy (SEMAR), an over flight was made in the vicinity of the Popocatépetl volcano, was possible to observe the 80 dome with an estimate diameter of 250 meters, thickness around 30 meters and a volume of 1.5 million m3 (imagen 3), (image 4), (image 5), (image 6), (image 7), (image 8) y (video 1)

At the moment of this report is possible to observe that the emissions of steam, gas and light amounts of ash are dispersed to the south-southeast direction (image 9).

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

I’ve had to reset my equipment because of a hack, and in this new browser, am unable (at the moment) to figure out how to get a Twitter embed code. Nevertheless, CENAPRED’s Dr. Zepeda tweets that Popo is extruding lava at a rate of roughly 1100 cubic feet (31 cubic meters) per second.



November 21, 2018, 7:50 p.m., Pacific: Popo continues to be much more sedate this evening, but it’s still having enough ash admission for a new VAAC advisory about half an hour ago. Dr. Z. tweets that (per my translation), “At the moment, in the last 12 hours, the amplitude of LPs [quakes] and tremor has diminished. The water vapor and gas emission is constant and in an east-northeast direction. The volcanic traffic signal alert continues at Yellow Phase 2”:


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Going by the following tweet, am thinking they might have raised the alert to Yellow, Phase 3 last night if they had seen a pyroclastic flow.

Below this tweet is my translation–not verbatim–of the Phase 3 and Red, Phase 1 criteria:


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“Yellow, Phase 3: Creation and destruction of lava domes; persistence of fumaroles of gas, and light ashfall in nearby areas; increasingly intense explosions with ejection of incandescent fragments . . . ”


Ahem . . .


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“Yellow, Phase 3 (continued): . . . possible moderately long pyroclastic flows.”

“Red, Phase 1: Eruptive column of water and gas several kilometers high; ejection of incandescent fragments over the volcano’s flanks; significant ashfall on neighboring populations; pyroclastic and mud flows [lahars] that can threaten nearby populations.”

Yes, Popo is capable of that, and even more violence. But unlike any other volcano I’ve ever heard of (remember, though, am a layperson and not familiar with many volcanoes), Popocatepetl has been doing this low-level stuff for 24 years now. It may continue for another few decades–or it may get more active again in the next moment.

It’s very hard for most of us to grasp, accustomed as we are to the “disaster movie” scenario of an eruption (thanks, Mount St. Helens, 1980!). It must be very trying for the millions who live near Popocatepetl.

And perhaps the most the volcanologists can do–like meteorologists with an approaching line of severe/tornadic supercells–is try to give as much warning as possible if worse comes to worst and to keep talking with people, informing them and keeping their minds on emergency procedures as time passes and the volcano just simmers on the horizon.

This is quite a remarkable volcano emergency.


November 21, 2018, 1:14 p.m., Pacific: CENAPRED issued updates yesterday (they’re in English at the update link near the top of this page). Here is how they describe events at Popocatepetl:

. . . [A]n exhalation train of long period events accompanied by tremor with duration of 1173 minutes . . . registered from 14:27 h yesterday and continues at the time of this report (video 1). The intense phase lasted 790 minutes (13 h) from yesterday at 16:07 h until today at 05:07 h . . .

Here is a time-lapse video from the Altzomoni webcam that they also shared. Both the frequency and the energy of the exhalations are worth noting–a change from recent activity. Still, though, the energy is not forceful enough to be independent of wind except near the summit.


Those gathering weather clouds now obscure the summit in the webcams, but the Chipiquixtle webicorder shows how dramatically events slowed down from about 6 a.m. local time:



So . . . what next, Don Goyo?


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Oddly, I can find no reports of ashfall. The authorities are warning people about it, but there just don’t seem to be reports.

Am still going to maintain my prediction from last night. In review:

  1. The events continue at this level for a while; this is not an extended “puff.”
  2. Lava accumulates and eventually fills the crater.
  3. When the crater is filled, a new summit forms and collapses, forms and collapses, as more lava is erupted–the result is a series of pyroclastic flows.
  4. Eventually the magma stops moving upward (at least as quickly as it is doing now), the rock hardens, and that lovely elliptical crater Popo used to have is no more.

This, even though I’m wrong about the duration of the intense activity; that’s just a matter of degree. This isn’t a puff.

Will suggest that, with so much rain lately, groundwater is interacting with the lava as it is erupted–Popo had a crater lake, I’ve read, before 1994–resulting in extremely small particles, through myriad steam explosions, that just aren’t heavy enough to come down in quantities large enough to notice, except near the volcano’s crater, i.e., on the volcano itself.

Might be prejudiced toward that interpretation since the alternative I can see is that the main magma bulk hasn’t come up yet.

Well, time will tell. In the meantime, here is what the Colossus of Puebla looked like from Mexico City early this morning.


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My translation, assisted by Google Translate:

Good morning from Mexico City, and in the background Popocatepetl, as seldom seen from the city.



6:32 p.m., Pacific: I’ve decided to continue updates up here, but be sure to check the note immediately below (from around 5 p.m.) for details of the current phase of activity.

Just saw this, from about 20 minutes ago: yes, it could be bombs–certainly that’s what it appears Popo is emitting–but at which point could something like this be called a pyroclastic flow, I wonder.


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Popo’s seismic pattern on the Chipiquixtle webicorder seems to slow down and then pick up again, but overall it does seem a bit lower than earlier this evening, though still very elevated above baseline.

6:47 p.m., Pacific: Per another tweet from Puebla Civil Protection just a few moments ago, the alert level remains the same: yellow, phase 2.


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7:22 p.m., Pacific: OK, I’m thinking while I’m watching Popo’s summit glow bright, throw some bombs, and then fade out again. Here is the current Chipiquixtle webicorder:



It looks to this layperson like the lava is coming up–very sticky lava, not at all like Kilauea’s runny red stuff; it rises, rises, rises, and then gravity takes over and it collapses. A much slower process happened at Mount St. Helens over ten years ago:



Today at Popocatepetl, I’m thinking, that is happening very quickly, but it continues rather than just freezing over, so to speak, to form a dome so pressure can build up and we have a tremendous blast.

Instead, the volcanic conduit remains clear and the magma squeezes out sort of like toothpaste. This is the lower, more steady part of the signal. Then it topples over: the big waves in the signal (and the big glow and bombs seen on the webcam).

All well and good–with the volcanologists saying there is a lot of magma available, that’s probably the best case scenario. Just squeeze it all out relatively slowly, without any catastrophic blasts!

So if this is correct, what can we expect?

  1. The events continue at this level for a while; this is not an extended “puff.”
  2. Lava accumulates and eventually fills the crater.
  3. When the crater is filled, a new summit forms and collapses, forms and collapses, as more lava is erupted–the result is a series of pyroclastic flows.
  4. Eventually the magma stops moving upward (at least as quickly as it is doing now), the rock hardens, and that lovely elliptical crater Popo used to have is no more.

That’s my attempt at science–making a prediction. We’ll see if it comes anywhere near the reality of the coming hours, days, and week.

Of note, when they adjusted the lens on the web cam, it was once true color, and breathtakingly beautiful–the whole night scene, including the plume, is shades of blue, because of moonlight, and all the “white” light in the images is actually red and orange. Gorgeous!


9:01 p.m., Pacific: This time I remembered to catch it!



9:59 p.m., Pacific: VAAC advisory on constant emissions dated about two hours ago is up.



November 20, 2018, [around 5 p.m.] Pacific: Looks like a lava dome that was possibly constructed since last night just blew up, about 15 minutes ago:


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There is very intense incandescence showing in the Los Ranchos live stream now.

Here is what it looked like on the Chipiquixtle webicorder:



Check out that Los Ranchos cam: CENAPRED (presumably) is occasionally altering the filters–there appears to be stuff occasionally overflowing the crater rim!!!!

5:19 p.m., Pacific: It was bombs, not a flow; the lens changes became dark with a few orange areas, especially near the crater–probably thermal. Am guessing they were looking for a flow. From reading, I understand that the risk now is that Popo’s crater may be almost full and pyroclastic density currents are possibly.

No VAAC pronouncements; nothing new re: alert level.

Some of those bombs, though, are huge, judging by how big they appear all the way from Los Ranchos.

For example:



6:03 p.m., Pacific: Signature on the Chipiquixtle webicorder has decreased, though the show at the webcam is still dramatic.

Here is the time-lapse through 6 p.m. local time; you can see the intensity pick up towards the last third of the video, although Popo has had a respectable emission level all day.



Still no VAAC advisory.

6:15 p.m., Pacific: Chipiquixtle webicorder now. Note currently line (black) compared with the earlier red line. Hopefully Popo is just going to taper off to whatever its baseline can be called today (again, this is all very elevated activity compared to the last months and years of the eruption, while I’ve been watching on the webcams).



6:26 p.m., Pacific: However, Popo keeps throwing bombs and someone keeps fiddling with the lens. I captured this image, which is fascinating because it seems to show two high-temperature images: are there two domes in the crater, or a single irregular one, protruding above the crater rim?



November 20, 2018, 11:27 a.m., Pacific: Still yellow, phase 2, although the column is getting higher before the wind can affect it . . .



. . . and there was a looong sequence (454 minutes) of low-amplitude tremor and LP events last night, per CENAPRED (not surprising, given the incandescence):


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The Chipiquixtle webicorder is showing that wavy stuff again, though clearly there is no apparent weather issue up there (see above cam capture from Altzomoni); perhaps this is the LP/tremor described in this morning’s update:


SSN, Chipiquixtle webicorder

Heh–this blog update is in English, Spanish, and “Earth-speak.” Nahuatl, too, if you include place names. Quite a blend!

Modeling shows that any ash today is going to head for Mexico City–it’s a major public holiday in Mexico, and I hope Don Goyo keeps a tight rein.


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Washington VAAC issued a couple of advisories overnight but at the moment considers Popocatepetl clear.



November 19, 2018, 9:24 p.m., Pacific: Incandescence at the moment seen on this video (links to Webcams de Mexico don’t always work for me).


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My translation:

Observation of Popocatepetl volcano shows constant fumarole activity with reflected incandescence from a lava body inside the crater.

No word on any change in the alert level status (which wouldn’t be expected to change for something like this). Interestingly, it doesn’t show on the Chipiquixtle webcam; it should. Wonder if they turn that off at night, at least the light-sensing equipment.


November 19, 2018, 7:28 p.m., Pacific: Was tied up with the upcoming ebook all day and missed some activity around the middle of the day. Washington VAAC now says emissions have cleared, but this time-lapse is interesting: that column has no problem overcoming the summit winds until it runs out of material. I think this is something fairly new. And not good. I wonder what cuts off the eruption . . .


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November 19, 2018, 9:34 a.m., Pacific: Popo continues its antics today. This image is from an emission about an hour ago (and the tweet also includes the CENAPRED daily update); they’re expecting ashfall in several Puebla State communities, per another PC_Estatal tweet.


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Addendum: Here is a time-lapse of that “puff”–these contain more ash and last longer, with a little more convective force, than what I’m used to seeing from Popo (this in addition to the increased frequency of events).


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Also, I found a “new” seismic station this morning–it apparently is near the new Chipiquixtle webcam close to the summit, and so probably was put up at the same time. Here is one of the four webicorders shown at the moment–no idea what all that wavy stuff is around midnight. Washington VAAC did issue an advisory around that time, but the emission was so weak that, they say, it hardly left the crater. It was hard to see because of a passing cloud, per the advisory. So this waviness could be weather related, but it doesn’t look like any wind signature I’ve seen (granted, my experience is extremely limited).

No doubt it all fits into the greater volcanological picture that CENAPRED has.


Canario station, one of four webicorders online (Chipiquixtle)


The other three webicorders on this page are from earlier recordings. Here is what yesterday afternoon looked like to the Canario station seismic equipment:



And here is the graphic from today’s CENAPRED report. It’s good to see no deformation showing–the volcano, it appears that Popoocatepetl, while alarming, is still able to unload its molten/gassy contents without building up a lot of pressure. (But let’s not forget that volcanologists call Popocatepetl a “low-deformation” system.)




November 18, 2018, 5:46 p.m., Pacific: Right. Let’s review Popo’s activity this afternoon. All my concern, expressed below, is about that unusually long exhaltion about 3/4 of the way through this time-lapse video, which runs from noon to 5:59 p.m., local time.



That one was more powerful, but still a “puff”–not enough force in it to lift up a classic eruption column. And as I mentioned at the time, though you can’t really see it here, it seemed to contain a train of smaller “puffs.”

The video ends with another puff but no more advisories have been issued, and from the webcams Popo just appears to be leaking very light gas/ash at the moment–like it was until it got more active around mid afternoon. The PPIG webicorder is still “rough,” but I don’t see any more quakes/tornillos.

Oddly enough, I find no reports of ashfall in the online news yet. Surely there must have been some. Perhaps everyone is waiting to see what the Colossus of Puebla will do next. The novelty has worn off, and it’s not impossible that today, at some point in the future, could seem like “the good old days.”

Sigh. Very stressful, and the people who live around the volcano as well as the authorities, scientists, planners, and emergency response people all deserve the highest praise for their long-term courage and close attention in the face of this looooong crisis.

6:01 p.m., Pacific: Another one, via the Tlamacas cam, ongoing at the time of writing. Sigh.



7:02 p.m., Pacific: Here’s what that event, which went on for a while, per the embedded videos (see earlier post today), looked like at CENAPRED HQ:


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At the moment, visibility is good thanks to moonlight and clear (if slightly volcano-polluted) skies, and Popo again is just leaking gas/ash.


November 18, 2018, 1:08 p.m., Pacific: A VAAC advisory went up about an hour ago.

From what I’ve seen on authoritative tweets, Popo began “puffing” occasionally shortly after 11 a.m. local time.

Here is the most impressive-looking event:


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About half an hour ago, Civil Protection in Puebla tweeted out a warning to residents in some areas about possible ashfall:


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In case you ever find yourself in this situation, here’s my translation, not verbatim, of the instructions in the poster:

  • Don’t do outdoor activities
  • Cover nose and mouth with a damp kerchief or face mask
  • Protect your pets and their food
  • Use eyeglasses and avoid contact lenses to reduce eye irritation
  • Clean eyes and throat with clean water
  • Protect and remove ashfall from roofs, patios, streets, etc.
  • Protect open-air water supplies
  • Close windows, cover them, and stay indoors as much as possible

The PPIG webicorder seems to be “roughening up” again, a little bit. (Again, I’m a layperson, this is something I’ve noticed, and I have no idea of its significance to the overall picture.)


Are those two brief tornillos in the 1400-hour line?

At the time of writing (now 1:26 p.m., Pacific), they’ve got the Puebla webcam focused in more on the volcano’s summit:




2:07 p.m., Pacific: What I see on that cam just now doesn’t look vulcanian to me, i.e., per my layperson’s understanding of the process, it’s ongoing low-level ash-producing activity of some sort (probably dome building as magma slowly extrudes into the crater), not the sudden contact of magma and ground water leading to an explosion (or “exhalation”).


3:07 p.m., Pacific: This ongoing emission seems to have more muscle behind it, and it is lasting longer than other events I recall, but it isn’t as apocalyptic as it appears in the Puebla webcam, with that dramatic setting sun–check out the Altzomoni webcam, too. Thus far, fortunately, there isn’t enough eruptive force to overcome summit wind speeds.

Screencap:



Despite that appearance, if you follow the plume over tens of minutes, you can see there are still discrete “puffs,” just many more of them and more frequently–training. My concern now is that things may escalate. AFAIK, though, CENAPRED hasn’t changed the Yellow Phase 2 alert level.

New VAAC advisory, of course.


3:26 p.m., Pacific: OK, it’s official: still Yellow, Phase 2 (I think this is the Tlamacas cam, though, not Altzomoni):


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3:38 p.m., Pacific: Activity seems to have diminished; think Dr. Zepeda’s tweet can be taken as the equivalent of an “all clear.” Whew. What next?

Of note, though, the PPIG webicorder still shows some “roughness.” There was also a small quake in the last 15 minutes of the 1600-hour line, but it was not a tornillo. My impression is that the quake happened around the time that this most recent heavy emission slowed down, but I’m not sure.



November 17, 2018, 9:06 a.m., Pacific: Popo was indeed quiet enough not to require a VAAC advisory overnight. The PPIG webicorder has begun showing a few small events in the last couple of hours, though I have no idea of their overall significance.



At the moment, a very light plume of ash is drifting/being pushed up from the crater, nothing more.

And in case you’ve been wondering where all that ash from a “Popo puff” goes, check out the view from Puebla (the second embedded video, above):


These flanks arern’t as snowy white as the ones in the webcams. The force behind the emission isn’t strong enough to propel the ash particles far from the volcano, fortunately for local residents.


November 16, 2018, 5:49 p.m., Pacific: Popo did “pop off” again a few hours ago, prompting another VAAC advisory, but the “roughness” on the PPIG has decreased on the PPIG webicorder this afternoon:



Wonder if we will see a corresponding slow-down (hopefully) or other change in behavior overnight.

In the meantime, here is a serendipitous shot of the westering sun in Popocatepetl’s plume. “Fire mountain,” anyone?


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November 16, 2018, 10:40 a.m., Pacific: Not much change from what is, for the volcano I’ve been watching for a few years via online webcams, an increased level of activity.

Most recent tweet from PC_Estatal, about half an hour ago:


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There’s another VAAC advisory from about two hours ago. The alert level hasn’t changed this morning.

Dr. Zepeda’s tweet shows that volcanologists monitoring Popo have much more sensitive equipment than what we can see at the PPIG webicorder!


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Nobody messes around when 25 million lives and the economic and political heart of a nation are at risk.

Very light ashfall this morning in Puebla State:


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Here is the time-lapse video of Popo’s activity over roughly the last six hours. (I’m so old I can remember when it was a big thrill when one vulcanian puff appeared on the webcams in several days’ worth of watching…this new pattern is so not good.)




November 16, 2018, 1:58 a.m., Pacific: I’ve had trouble embedding these videos before, but will try it again because at the moment there is something coming off the summit (on the side away from the camera, unfortunately); probably another emission.



Took a screencap of it:



November 16, 2018, 12:42 a.m., Pacific: New VAAC advisory; Popo just erupted, and a somewhat larger quantity of ash, too, judging from the graphic:



No changes in alert level per the CENAPRED website, which still carries the November 15 daily update, but I’ll bet there are some ashfall reports from this.

I’m going to stay up for another hour or so, because the PPIG webicorder shows that “roughness” hasn’t dropped down. Besides being steady, it’s a little more intense now than it was 24 hours ago. It probably means little in the overall picture, but I’m a little concerned. Will see what, if anything, Popo does next.



November 16, 2018, 12:30 a.m., Pacific: A late-night check on Don Goyo. No new advisories, but a look at the NOAA/CIMSS volcanic cloud page, linked above, shows continued intermittent emissions. Can’t see much on the webcams; either the moon has set or the volcano is hidden in clouds.

While checking the news (nothing new; no ashfall reports, either), I came across this adorable critter, called a teporingo, that’s small, cute, and tough enough to live only in the high country of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, including the flanks of Popocatepetl, per this story (Spanish).


Agencia Informativa Conacyt, CC BY 4.0.

I’ll be thinking of teporingos now every time I look through the webcam at Popocatepetl’s majestic slopes.


November 15, 2018, 8:34 p.m., Pacific: Think my webcam screencap almost three hours ago caught the tail end of this:


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At present, there is a new VAAC advisory but only for intermittent emissions now.

Nevertheless, the PPIG webicorder shows very low-level “roughness”–not a technical term, but I’ve noticed it often occurs in conjunction with ash emissions. I have no idea why, because the exhalations, explosions, and most VT quakes CENAPRED mentions don’t seem to show up on it.


The lines are ordinarily thin and straight; this “roughness” is a volcano artifact from low-level emissions, I think. But I’m just a layperson. Note what looks like harmonic tremor at the end of the 1400-hours line. (SSN)

That Puebla Civil Protection account (PC_Estatal) tweeted a couple of reminders to people about bug-out bags (“mochilas”–emergency evacuation kits) and family emergency plans: nonspecific, nothing volcano related, but such reminders are always helpful.


November 15, 2018, 5:53 p.m., Pacific: Washington VAAC notes ongoing ash emissions within the last two hours.

Looks like they’re still ongoing, per the webcam view under the moonlight; no incandescence, though.



November 15, 2018, 3:54 p.m., Pacific: Some vulcanian events; unfortunately, this video ends in the middle of one of them:



Of note, today’s update says that incandescence was noted at the summit last night; this used to be fairly common, but not for many weeks now. Lava has reached the surface. Is it building a new dome?



November 15, 2018, 9:19 a.m., Pacific: With its snowy mantle, the Colossus of Puebla is majestic from almost all angles . . .

. . . at dawn:


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. . . and at present:



It is still moody, though, as events a couple hours ago show (no VAAC advisories since November 12th):


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November 13, 2018, 7:12 p.m., Pacific: See updated link above to CENAPRED’s updates in English; as long as it’s viable, I won’t repost them here. Of note, though, today they reported 47 minutes of harmonic tremor and 1 explosion.

There have been no VAAC advisories on the volcano since yesterday.


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From CENAPRED update, November 13, 2018.


November 12, 2018, 10:30 a.m., Pacific: Just the same thing over and over again each day, but this is an elevated activity level for Popo, compared to recent years. And no one knows what it will do in the next minute, hour, day, week, month, or year–not good, next to one of the largest population centers on Earth/concentrated heart of a nation’s economic and political resources.



Yes, there is a VAAC advisory up. And here’s today’s update:

November 12, 11:00 h (November 12, 17:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring system recorded 194 low intensity exhalations, accompanied by steam and gas and small amounts of ash . . . The most important event was recorded today at 08:49 . . . Additionally four volcanotectonic earthquakes were recorded yesterday at 21:01 and 21:03 h, and today at 07:29 and 09:14 h, with magnitude of 2.7, 1.8, 1.9 and 1.6, respectively.

At the moment of this report we cannot see the volcano due to claoudy conditions, but this morning we can see the emission of volcanic gases in a northeasterly direction . . .

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

Here’s more information on the location of those VT earthquakes:


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November 11, 2018, 12:22 p.m., Pacific: Some explosions overnight, and this morning an episode of continuous, light ash emission that has a VAAC advisory in place at the moment; also 30 minutes of tremor, per CENAPRED.



One of the overnight explosions:


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Per the graphic and update, though, no explosions happened; apparently CENAPRED has redefined the volcanological meaning of the word “explosion” in reference to Popocatepetl–understandable, given this volcano’s many “exhalations” (something not seen in many other volcanoes). Wonder what counts as an explosion here now:




November 10, 2018, 10:26 a.m., Pacific: Popocatepetl is restless this morning. See Dr. Zepeda’s tweets for images, including this one (note that alert level is still Yellow, Phase 2):


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At 1213 UTC, about six hours ago, Washington VAAC reported an eruption; when I accessed their page shortly after 1800 UTC, it looked like they had just posted another advisory but it gave a 404 HTTP response and now it’s gone–they are still apparently watching the volcano closely, though in the webcams it appears back to business as usual, with lots of steam clouds (though not a train of them). Update: Now it’s up again–an emission at 1608 UTC.

None of the morning’s emissions showed up on the PPIG webicorder. Per CENAPRED’s update this morning:

November 10, 11:00 h (November 10, 17:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring system recorded 166 low intensity exhalations, accompanied by steam and gas and small amounts of ash. The most important ones, yesterday at 18:40 h . . . and today at 5:45 h . . . 7:38 h . . . and 8:23 h . . .

At the moment of this report the visibility is reduced due to clouds; however, at previous hours an emission of steam and gas was observed being dispersed to the southeast . . .

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

Update at 10:44 a.m., Pacific: They apparently aren’t classifying that as an explosion, though it looked like one. I have found an excellent time-lapse video that someone put together from the webcam feeds.

Wait for it:



No wonder there were no ashfall reports–it dissipated quickly. This sort of behavior must be very stressful for the people around the volcano, though. Not to mention the people monitoring it!



November 9, 2018, 7:22 p.m., Pacific: Popo, about three hours ago:


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Washington VAAC issued an advisory on the volcano an hour ago. Given the time delay, I’m thinking there might have been another exhalation, but it’s too dark to tell; also, at the moment, I can’t get the webcams to display an image.



November 9, 2018, 12:16 p.m., Pacific: Highest number of exhalations in the last month, over the past 24 hours. Deformation is down; some seismic activity. They don’t mention LP quakes (which is what a tornillo is) or tremor in this morning’s report. Here’s the graphic:




November 9, 2018, 9:50 a.m., Pacific: The update isn’t up yet, but here is what they call a “postal”–Popo from a nearby town this morning:


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Despite the tranquil scene, Dr. Zepeda tweets that Popo has had at least two exhalations this morning (small ones, without unusual colors). No VAAC advisories since early on the 7th, and the PPIG webicorder has no more unusual things on it. There have been a couple of “bumps” this morning; the first might have coincided with the second exhalation (such coincidence is rare, I’ve found), but the second happened later.

The new webcam froze about half an hour ago and now it’s blank; it’s quite close to the summit, in challenging conditions, and it’s not surprising that there are technical problems shortly after installation. (Update, around midday: It’s working again, but the steam clouds Popo is huffing out are obscuring the summit.)

From yesterday:


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I’ll bet the thought of volcanologists ascending the Colossus of Puebla to install that camera has inspired at least one young person today to enter this career field. That’s wonderful!



November 8, 2018, 7:59 p.m., Pacific: All seems per the current baseline except this–I wonder what that last activity was, about an hour ago. Could it be a tornillo? It sort of resembles the ones shown in this paper, though it doesn’t have the classic screw-like shape.



If not a tornillo, it certainly looks like harmonic tremor (to this layperson, anyway).

Here are graphics from this morning’s update: deformation has not decreased, and there have been no explosions since those inky-black ones the other day. Wonder what Popo is up to now. . .




November 8, 2018, 3:50 p.m., Pacific: Something’s going on up there this afternoon, but at a very low level:



There is no VAAC advisory and the view is rather clear at the moment:



I’m guessing those are all volcano-generated steam clouds.

Not much change in this morning’s update; here is a summary:


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November 7, 2018, 9:53 a.m., Pacific: Yesterday evening’s ash emission did eventually get a VAAC advisory, but they have given the volcano an all-clear overnight. This morning, CENAPRED’s cameras see this:


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My translation of this roughly one-hour-old tweet: “From the Altzomoni camera, the constant emission of gas and water vapor heading southeast. Two wind directions at different heights are shown in the video. The traffic signal alert continues at Yellow Phase 2.”

Obviously there is a little ash in the plume, too, but none of that black inky stuff from earlier this week, and not enough to trigger another VAAC advisory. Popo has done and can keep doing this sort of stuff for decades, but one wonders what is going on inside the volcano now. We can only watch and wait . . .



November 6, 2018, 6:49 p.m., Pacific:


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Interestingly, the PPIG webicorder showed some of that “chuffing” behavior but it stopped well before 1709. There are tweets out there of later activity, too, but this live action is nice. (Correction: I got that 1709 from one of the other tweets; the time of this video is unknown.)

Here’s the webicorder:


No VAAC advisory; no change in the alert status; no reports of ashfall. You can just make out the summit outline now on the Tlamacas webcam, but no details; there is no incandescence, either.



November 6, 2018, 11:53 a.m., Pacific: Deformation slightly elevated over the last 24 hours; no more explosions. Lots more exhalations, though.



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November 5, 2018, 12:54 p.m., Pacific: Yes, the deformation did go down after those two explosions. Now, no more explosions and slightly increased tremor.



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November 4, 2018, 4:28 p.m., Pacific: Was able to get the graphics:



Will see if the deformation goes down again after the explosions. At the moment, you can dimly see the summit in the fading sunset, and apparently there is just a steam plume.

Was thinking about those inky black clouds yesterday and realized, even though I’m no geochemist, that sulfur can also look black in solution; wonder if that was ash, as per Dr. Zepeda, or perhaps a phreatomagmatic explosion of a brine pocket? If so, wouldn’t that mean that magma is very near the summit crater?

Yet there is no incandescence lately at night when the summit is visible.

Just speculating.



November 4, 2018, 9:44 a.m., Pacific: Those two ash emissions were actually the first two explosions at Popocatepetl in a while.


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Per Google Translate:

In the last 24 hours, the monitoring of Popocatépetl identified 147 exhalations . There were two explosions at 16:38 and 17:27 with an approximate height of 1.5 and 1.6 km. In addition, a volcanotectonic event was recorded today at 00:51 h with a preliminary magnitude of 2.0.

The volcano is hidden clouds on the webcam, and I still can’t find any news about ashfall.



November 3, 2018, 6:33 p.m., Pacific: Not much change in today’s update, but per Dr. Zepeda, Popocatepetl had a very-high-content ash emission about four hours ago:


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Look how dark that cloud is, compared to the typical emissions! Apparently the emission was accompanied by a long-period (LP) earthquake (these are produced by magma movement, per MTU). No VAAC advisory posted on the website since November 1st. This cloud went to the northeast, per Dr. Z., but per Puebla PC, it went northwest, towards Mexico City. Skyalert tweets that there have been various emissions this afternoon and they went toward Puebla.

Anyway, a little earlier today Dr. Zepeda tweeted:


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And per Puebla PC, there was an emission almost an hour later:

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Now it’s dark, of course, but you can make out the summit outline. No incandescence is evident.

I can find no news reports of ash fall from these emissions. Wonder why it was so dark? Mafic magma??? That dark, Hawaiian-style stuff isn’t associated with arc volcanoes like Popocatepetl, which is typically on the felsic (light-colored) end of the igenous rock spectrum.

One last note: the events didn’t show on the PPIG webicorder. They often don’t; the volcanologists, of course, have lots of other equipment.




November 2, 2018, 1:13 p.m., Pacific: Nothing much new in the updates from yesterday and today. Here is today’s graphic, showing deformation up a bit, no explosions yet, and other parameters within their typical levels lately.


CENAPRED graphic, from November 2, 2018, update. (I have no idea if that link will work for you; it did this morning for me.)

The volcano is socked in on the webcams at the moment, but here is a lovely image of it from earlier today:


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October 31, 2018, 8:26 p.m., Pacific:


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No VAAC advisory–it was light. No sign on the PPIG webicorder, either. The webcams that are clear show a dark summit but there appears to be a little rising fume of some sort up there.

No dramatic changes, but Popo seems a little different to me. Can’t put my finger on it, though. Just slightly different behavior, I guess. Not the “good ole Popo,” lazily puffing away, that I’ve been watching online for a few years; more like a volcano that is starting to seriously think about getting down to business. The volcanologists have a much better view, though, and they are keeping the alert level at Yellow Phase 2 and waiting . . . and taking cool time-lapse videos. This is from today; the puff shown above exited on the other side of the volcano. You can see how light it was. Gorgeous video, too.


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Per Google Translate:

Popocatépetl, the second most active volcano in Mexico and the one with the highest risk due to its history of explosive eruptions documented in the stratigraphic record and number of people living in its vicinity. Technical report of the hazard map of the Popocatépetl volcano.

There is no link; I think the video is the technical report referred to, or else he means this and this (both in Spanish).



October 31, 2018, 5:47 p.m., Pacific: It probably doesn’t matter at all, but I note that this morning’s ash emission, unlike yesterday’s, was followed by a few signals, as if it wasn’t quite done or was trying to restart.




October 31, 2018, 2:23 p.m., Pacific: Another episode on the PPIG webicorder, early this morning, and this time it got a VAAC advisory.



The ash has dissipated now, per Washington VAAC, and on the webcam Popo appears to be chuffing steam again–its summit is hidden by curly white clouds that probably aren’t weather related.

And per CENAPRED (via Google Translate):

In the last 24 hours, through the monitoring systems of the Popocatépetl volcano, 89 exhalations were identified. During most of the time covered by this report, visibility was not available; however, those exhalations that could be seen were accompanied by water vapor, gas and light amounts of ash. In addition, three vulcanotectonic earthquakes were recorded, the first two yesterday at 18:37 and 19:34, with magnitudes of 2.7 and 1.5, respectively, and the third this morning at 9:55, with a magnitude of 1.5. During the night there was visibility towards the volcano and no incandescence was observed.

At the time of this report there is no visibility to the volcano, but earlier today there was an emission of water vapor, gas and light ash content dispersed to the northeast.

The CENAPRED urges NOT TO APPROACH the volcano and especially the crater, for the danger that involves the fall of ballistic fragments and in case of heavy rains away from the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and mudflows.

The Popocatepetl Volcanic Alert Traffic Light is Yellow Phase 2.

Odd that there is ash but no incandescence (see image below from yesterday, too–very dark summit).

Meanwhile, life goes on. At the fair in nearby Tlaxcala, per this news story (Spanish), a
Day of the Dead offering from secondary school students to Popocatepetl and its neighbor Iztaccihuatl has won second prize.

Here is an image of the Tlaxcala fair from 2015.


(Isaacvp via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Thanks to volcanic ash, the soil around most volcanoes is very fertile. That’s basically why people live so close to these dangerous fire mountains everywhere on Earth.



October 30, 2018, 8:06 p.m., Pacific: Well, whatever was going on has now ceased, and PPIG is back to its typical almost flat line. There isn’t much moonlight, but the Tlamacas webcam now shows a steam plume rising–typical activity for Don Goyo.



October 30, 2018, 4:52 p.m., Pacific: That “chuffing” continues . . .


SSN, PPIG webicorder

. . . and the clouds have cleared, showing what looks to me like a low-level plume of very light ash (no VAAC advisory or change in alert level found).


Screen captures of current Altzomoni (top, presumably upwind) and Tianguismanalco (bottom, presumably downwind) webcams.


October 30, 2018, 12:31 p.m., Pacific:


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119 exhalations of water, gases (per today’s full update page, SO2 outgassing over the last 24 hours is low compared to earlier phases of the eruption), and light quantities of ash (no VAAC advisories since yesterday), and 15 minutes of tremor.

Per the PPIG webicorder, Popo is doing something at the moment, but clouds hide the summit–I suspect at least some of those clouds are volcanigenic and the Colossus of Puebla is chuffing out huge quantities of steam. There is no ash plume from the long-distance cam view, relatively clear, at Tianguismanalco.




October 29, 2018, 11:33 a.m., Pacific: No mention related to the signal I noted yesterday–think it was a small landslide/debris flow.

October 29, 11:00 h (October 29, 17:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring system was recorded, 88 low intensity exhalations, accompanied by steam, gas and ash. The most important exhalation was presented today at 09:44 h . . . Additionally, four volcanotectonic events were recorded, one yesterday at 18:20 and the rest today at 04:15, 04:36 and 07:13 h, with a magnitude calculated of 1.8, 3.0, 2.1, and 2.6, respectively. During the night, there was no visibility towards the crater of the volcano, due to the weather conditions.

At the moment of this report is possible to observe that the emissions of steam, gas and ashes are dispersed to the north-west direction . . .

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

Those ashes may be remnants of a small emission about five hours ago that got a VAAC advisory.

What concerns this layperson a little is that the volcano hasn’t had an explosion for a while; this is a change in its recent activity level. Ordinarily that would be great news, but other parameters haven’t dropped.


From CENAPRED October 29, 2018, update.

The deformation is a wee bit elevated, too, though nowhere near where it was at some earlier phases of this long-lasting eruption.

Does any of this mean something? I have no idea. But that, combined with what probably was a landslide yesterday, makes me watch it closer. Given the weather, the landslide would be expected. But given Popo’s history and currently elevated activity, I think this “smoking mountain” deserves (and surely is getting from scientists and emergency planners) even closer scrutiny and watchful waiting right now.



October 28, 2018, 7:35 p.m., Pacific: I didn’t include the CENAPRED update today because it was basically unchanged. However, just noticed this interesting signal on the PPIG webicorder, from a few hours ago:



There is no VAAC advisory since the 24th, no mention of anything unusual in the Twitter feeds I check because they always are informative, and the pattern looks a little weird–I’m a layperson and can say no more than that. It might have been somebody moving something near the seismometer for a while or it’s just possibly a signal from the M6.1 in El Salvador this afternoon around the same time, although, again, it’s kind of a weird-looking, stretched out signal.

A landslide or debris flow on the volcano’s flanks, perhaps? There certainly is enough rain for it, and landslides are happening in other parts of this general region.

Hopefully, CENAPRED, Dr. Zepeda, or somebody else knowledgeable will have something to say about it by tomorrow morning’s update. Anyway, it seems clear that, although the volcano’s summit is shrouded in clouds, Popo has not had a sudden increase in eruptive activity.



October 27, 2018, 11:46 a.m., Pacific:


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Many scientific terms are similar in both English and Spanish; “seis” is “six”; “baja” means “low.”

Dr. Zepeda also tweets that there was a swarm of four earthquakes a little east of Tlamacas, apparently quite separate from the seismic activity inside Popocatepetl. That would be what showed up on the webicorder yesterday (scroll down to yesterday’s update here); I think it’s that large blue circle on the left in these diagrams–not underneath the volcano.


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Today’s graphic shows no explosions:


CENAPRED daily update, October 27, 2018.


October 26, 2018, 12:29 p.m., Pacific: The PPIG webicorder is interesting . . .


SSN

. . . but I don’t see those four events addressed in today’s update (nor are there any VAAC advisories up; the volcano appears to be steaming heavily, from what little the webcams show at present):


October 26, 11:00 h (October 26, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the monitoring systems of the Popocatépetl volcano, 168 exhalations . . . accompanied by steam and gas were recorded. It was registered four volcanotectonic earthquakes yesterday at 14:56 h, 15:13 h, 21:25 h and 22:29 h with magnitud of 1.5, 2.3, 1.5 and 1.2, also were registered 29 minutes accumulated in this episode of low amplitud tremor.

In most of the time we could see the volcano. At the time of this report, we have visibility to the crater . . . and it has a light emission of steam and gas to the nor-noreast side.

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

Today’s graphics show that Popo has been doing a little bit of everything except explosions recently (though none approaching what it has done earlier in this eruption)–perhaps it’s building up to one of its low-level (hopefully) explosions, if it didn’t already happen, per the webicorder.


CENAPRED daily web update, October 26, 2018.


October 25, 2018, 1:23 p.m. Pacific: No VAAC advisories since yesterday; today’s update is not much changed from yesterday’s, with a little more seismicity and a little less tremor.


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October 24, 2018, 10:34 a.m., Pacific: One explosion overnight and a VAAC advisory, breaking a week without ash emissions. At the moment, Popo is steaming away in the webcams.


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October 24, 11:00 h (October 24, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the monitoring systems of the Popocatépetl volcano, 152 exhalations (image 1), (image 2), accompanied by steam and gas were recorded. It was registered an explotion today at 03:26 h (image 3), (image 4), (image 5), (video 1) and 13 minutes accumulated in this episode of low amplitud tremor.

In most of the time we could see the volcano. At the time of this report, we have visibility to the crater (image 6) and it has a light emission of steam and gas to the nor-noreast side.

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

Of note, there was another small emission about 2-1/2 hours ago, per Dr. Zepeda.


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October 22, 2018, 3:08 p.m., Pacific: How can you not love a volcano with this ‘tude?


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Easy. When it explodes and/or collapses and kills thousands of people.

Hope we never see that devastation from Popocatepetl. Today’s CENAPRED update is baseline, with no mention of tremor. Again, no VAAC report since the 17th. However, Popo has had over 80 exhalations, so it doesn’t seem that the conduit is plugged.



October 21, 2018, 12:39 p.m., Pacific: Graphics and a terribly beautiful image will do for today; no major changes, and no VAAC advisories since the 17th.


From CENAPRED October 21st, 2018, web update.

From CENAPRED October 21, 2018, daily update.


October 20, 2018, 1:06 p.m., Pacific:



October 20, 11:00 h (October 19, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the monitoring systems of the Popocatépetl volcano, 41 exhalations, accompanied by steam and gas. Additionally, was recorded five volcanotectonic earthquakes, the first were ocurred yesterday at 11:54, 12:45, 16:18 and 19:15 pm with magnituds of 2.4, 2.0, 2.4 and 1.7, the last one was ocurred this morning at 05:45 am with magnitud of 2.4.

In most of the time we cannot see the volcano due to cloudy conditions, however, the few lapses in the clear sky can be observed the constant emission of water vapor and other gases (image 1).

At the time of this report, continues the intense cloudiness in the area of the volcano,however any important change in the activity will be notified in a timely manner.

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

Washington VAAC has not issued an advisory on Popocatepetl since early on the 17th.



October 18, 2018, 6:58 p.m., Pacific: The volcano was apparently at baseline over the last 24 hours or so–VAAC hasn’t issued an advisory since yesterday morning; however, the summit is hidden in clouds most of the time. I wouldn’t have added anything today, except that this tweet shows a cloud that mystifies me: it appears to be a species of lenticular cloud that I haven’t seen before!


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Quite a nice hat for Don Goyo!


October 17, 2018, 10:15 a.m., Pacific: All is at baseline, apparently, except for increased VT seismicity. Will just include a summary tweet from Puebla and this morning’s CENAPRED graphics.


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Washington VAAC issued an advisory yesterday afternoon, and from the graphic it looked to be a fairly big cloud, but it quickly dispersed. I’ve seen no online news reports or tweets about ashfall from that; the area is experiencing lots of rain, which may explain it. Weather makes it very difficult to see the summit these days, and apparently that is true for satellites, too, but this morning VAAC only noted one possible emission around 0400 UTC and that has dispersed.



October 16, 2018, 11:12 a.m., Pacific: A summary of today’s bulletin. Note that LPs are showing up again, per this tweet. “It’s imporant to respect the security radius of 12 km.”


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However, Popo appeared at baseline (and quite impressive) from Puebla this morning:


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The volcano is steaming more than it has done over the few years that I’ve been watching the webcams (of note, at the moment Popo is playing peekaboo with the clouds).

Update, October 16, 2018, 2:14 p.m. Pacific: Per this story (Spanish), the steaming is due to increased environmental humidity and colder air temperatures at this time of year, which makes sense. However, they report an investigator at the University Center for the Prevention of Regional Disasters noting that Popo’s activity has significantly increased, with up to 500 exhalations and 4-5 explosions per day over the last four weeks. CENAPRED’s Scientific Advisory Committee kept the Yellow Phase 2 alert level at the last meeting, but they are watching it carefully.

Also, Dr. Valdes uses a sand clock to show how the LP quakes are generated inside the volcano:


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Per Google Translate: “An hourglass allows us to understand how “lp” earthquakes are generated in a volcano. Here the material exerts pressure to pass through a narrow neck or conduit, generating vibration signals. In a volcano, these signals imply the rise of fluids that contain magma, gas and water.”



October 15, 2018, 12:33 p.m.: A dawn image, taken from Mexico City:


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“Popocatépetl covering Iztaccíhuatl [another, much sleepier volcano just to the north, or left in the image] with his cloak.” This refers to the old legends.

October 15, 11:00 h (October 15, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the monitoring systems of the Popocatépetl volcano, 121 exhalations were identified. During most of the time covered by this report there has been no visibility towards the volcano. However, from 06:00 pm, an intermittent plume of gases and water vapor directed to the northwest could be observed (image 1). In addition, at 23:43 a volcanotectonic event with magnitude 1.4 is recorded.

During the night there was partial visibility of the crater volcano. Incandescence was not observed but the emission of steam and gases the period of most intensity lasted approximately between 06:50 and 09:50 am, the height of the plume was less than 1 km and dispersed in a northwest direction (Video 1).

At the time of this report, There is no visibility to the volcano due to the intense cloudiness in the area.

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

Was able to get into the graphics this morning–they are reassuring.


From CENAPRED website, October 15, 2018.

However, I was reading in the Pozzo et al. paper yesterday (see above) that Popo is considered a “low deformation” volcanic system, and that VT quakes are sometimes eruption precursors, too. Overall, though, the volcano seems at its baseline.

Everyone is maintaining their watch, though:


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Sorry, I’m not good with spoken Spanish. This is an official of Santiago Xalitzintla, saying, per this tweet by Puebla State, that they are making evacuation plans in a volcano emergency.

And here is the current image from Tlamacas webcam; not sure what those white streaky things are, but given the huge steam plume chuffing from the volcano’s crater, am guessing it’s ice/snow scrubbed clean of ash and at an angle that catches sunlight:




October 14, 2018, 11:26 a.m. Pacific:


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Clouds are obscuring the volcano in the webcams at the time of writing, but it does occasionally show itself.

Today’s update, per Google Translate (except for the traffic signal located in Amarillo [see my note farther down in this past week’s updates]):

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems, 161 exhalations were identified, as well as 48 minutes of low amplitude tremor. For most of the time covered by this report there was no visibility to the volcano, but when it could be seen an intermittent plume of gases and water vapor was observed to the northwest.

During the night there was partial visibility of the volcano crater. No incandescence was observed but the emission of gases was observed.

From this morning until the moment of this report, partial visibility has been obtained, and the intermittent emission of water vapor and gases continues.

The CENAPRED urges NOT TO APPROACH the volcano and especially the crater, for the danger that involves the fall of ballistic fragments and in case of heavy rains away from the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and mudflows.

The Popocatepetl Volcanic Alert Traffic Light remains at Yellow Phase 2.



October 13, 2018, 9:25 a.m., Pacific: Still waiting for this morning’s update. On cams, the volcano is socked in, but apparently Don Goyo felt kindly toward webcams in the general direction of Xalitzintla (where some tiemperos live):


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Washington VAAC reports a very light ash emission about two hours ago.


10:24 a.m., Pacific: Here it is, via Google Translate. No mention of tremor or seismicity. Wish I could check the deformation/seismicity graphics.

In the last 24 hours, through the monitoring systems of the Popocatépetl volcano, 384 exhalations were identified, accompanied by water vapor, gas and ash. Additionally an explosion was recorded yesterday at 11:40 h.

During the night there was partial visibility of the crater of the volcano and incandescence could be observed. At the time of this report there is no visibility, any event will be dispersed in a westerly direction.

The CENAPRED urges NOT TO APPROACH the volcano and especially the crater, for the danger that involves the fall of ballistic fragments and in case of heavy rains away from the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and mudflows.



October 12, 2018, 12:05 p.m., Pacific: The volcano is still in Yellow, Phase 2, but some of the news in the update is concerning (emphasis added), as is the tweet below today’s quote below. That tweet shows serial events continuing for a little while this morning (a couple of hours ago at the time of writing).


In the last 24 hours, through the monitoring systems of the Popocatépetl volcano, 452 exhalations were identified, accompanied by water vapor, gas and ash. Also recorded were 30 minutes of LP train and tremor, recorded from 03:36 to 04:07 today. There were also 82 minutes of tremor of medium and low amplitude. Additionally, two volcanotectonic earthquakes were recorded, recorded yesterday at 4:34 pm and 8:28 pm, with magnitudes of 1.0 and 2.4, respectively.

During the night there was no visibility, in the morning you could see the crater of the volcano. At the time of this report there is no visibility, any event will be dispersed in a westerly direction.

The CENAPRED urges NOT TO APPROACH the volcano and especially the crater, for the danger that involves the fall of ballistic fragments and in case of heavy rains away from the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and mudflows.


LP means “long-period” and these quakes are produced as moving magma breaks rocks, per Michigan Tech. This is an eruption precursor, per seismologists in the Pacific Northwest, but in 1980 Mount St. Helens had LP quakes for months before it went off.



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VAAC’s current advisory mentions another emission within the past hour and a dispersing cloud of ash extending about 30 nautical miles from the summit. Of course, they don’t get into seismological information.

Once again, I can’t get into the update site to see the deformation and seismicity graphics. And the webcam shows mostly clouds. Sigh.



October 11, 2018: No training exhalations mentioned in this morning’s update, but VAAC did issue multiple advisories on Popo yesterday. Mostly it was cloud-covered, but CENAPRED did get this (from yesterday):



Again, I can’t get into the report website this morning, so here’s a Google Translate version:

In the last 24 hours, through the monitoring systems of the Popocatépetl volcano, 411 exhalations were identified, accompanied by water vapor, gas and ash. There were also 3 explosions yesterday at 10:39, 15:21 and 15:33. Additionally, 118 minutes of tremor were recorded. During the night partial visibility was observed and slight incandescence was also observed. At the time of this report there is partial visibility, any event will be dispersed in the northeast direction.

The Popocatepetl Volcanic Alert Traffic Light is located in Amarillo Phase 2.

I just love the way GT interprets that last line. The machine detects “traffic signal” and the name of a Texas town, and therefore adds interprets “se encuentra” the word as “located”–it’s not in the original it is used as “remains at”; and “amarillo” is Spanish for “yellow.” See the “Challenges…” link at the top of this page for reasons why Mexico went with a traffic-signal volcano alert system.

Here is the volcano during a moment of atmospheric clarity this morning.


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The State of Puebla has a very active Twitter feed, which is excellent for getting news. Surely other states near the volcano are conducting the same organization meetings that Puebla mentions holding this morning, where officials are planning shelters, evacuations, search and rescue operations, and so forth.


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If Don Goyo is strolling across the flanks of Popocatepetl this morning, he would surely approve!

VAAC’s latest advisory is from several hours ago and just mentions a “discrete puff” back then. (We all must adapt our words to Popocatepetl’s rather unique eruption style!)

Here is a news story (Spanish) about measures in the state of Tlaxcala.



October 10, 2018, 10:56 a.m., Pacific: Fewer exhalations than described in yesterday’s report, but for the first time a train of exhalations, which is concerning. Per Google Translate, since I can’t get into the update site just now:

In the last 24 hours, through the monitoring systems of the Popocatépetl volcano, 315 exhalations were identified, accompanied by water vapor, gas and ash. Two volcanotectonic earthquakes were also recorded, one yesterday at 2:33 pm and today at 07:33, with magnitude 1.2 and 1.7, respectively. Additionally, 182 minutes of tremor and 11 minutes of exhalation train recorded today from 01:20 to 01:31 h. During the night there was partial visibility and incandescence was also observed. At the time of this report there is partial visibility, any event will be dispersed in the northeast direction.

The Popocatepetl Volcanic Alert Traffic Light is located in Amarillo Phase 2.

The volcano’s summit is socked in by weather; via other sources, VAAC just reported another light ash emission.

Going by time, this was the start of the exhalation train during the wee hours, from Webcams de Mexico:


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October 9, 2018, 1:02 p.m., Pacific: Over 500 exhalations in the last 24 hours, per CENAPRED! This is way higher activity than any I’ve noticed over the last several years that I’ve been casually watching Popocatepetl on the webcams. However, today’s graphic shows decreased tremor, and while the seismic activity is still high, it’s still slightly less than the average from 1996-1998; also, no change in deformation. There reportedly is more magma, but the open conduit is handling it and the volcano isn’t pressurizing a lot, it looks like (but remember, I’m a layperson 🙂 ).


From CENAPRED website, October 9, 2018.

October 09, 11:15 h (October 09, 16:15 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring system was recorded, 509 low intensity exhalations, accompanied by steam, gas and ash (imagen 1) . Additionally were recorded three explosions yesterday at 17:20 (imagen 2) (video 1) , 17:34 and 18:34 h (imagen 3) (video 2) . Also was recorded 274 minutes of tremor. During the night, it was possible to observe the crater, but incandescence was not observed. At the moment of this report is possible observe the crater but any exhalation was dispersed to the north-est direction (imagen 4) .

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments. . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

Potentially good news is that Washington VAAC hasn’t put up an advisory on Popo since 1022 UTC, roughly ten hours ago.



October 8, 2018, 4:53 p.m., Pacific:


CENAPRED, October 8, 2018 (the top labels got cut off: exhalations (the vulcanian eruptions/steam emissions) on the left, volcanotectonic earthquakes on the right.

October 08, 11:00 h (October 08, 16:15 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring system was recorded, 316 low intensity exhalations, accompanied by steam, gas and ash (imagen 1), (imagen 2) . Additionally were recorded five explosions, three yesterday at 11:19, 15:21 and 16:51 h, and two today at 05:27 and 07:02 h (imagen 3), also was recorded 580 minutes of tremor. During the night, it was possible to observe the crater, but incandescence was not observed. At the moment of this report not possible observe the crater but any exhalation was dispersed to the north-est direction (imagen 4) .

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments (image 4) and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

Then, a little after 5 p.m. local time:


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Washington VAAC advises the cloud extends 20 nautical miles northeast of Popo, but is expected to dissipate quickly. The alert level is still yellow, phase 2:


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October 7, 2018, 9:45 a.m., Pacific: Found this handy visual summary of the daily update. Sr. Zepeda is CENAPRED’s director of analysis and risk management. And look at that–784 minutes of tremor! It was low amplitude, though, per the text update, and a look at the information on CENAPRED’s website graphics (below the tweet) shows no increase in deformation or seismicity. Weather conditions make it impossible to see the volcano in the webcams, but Washington VAAC reported continuous emissions (i.e., the usual stuff lately) this morning.


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CENAPRED, October 7, 2018.


October 6, 2018, 9:17 Pacific: CENAPRED update today isn’t up yet. Here is an image of the volcano from Puebla just a few minutes ago, but VAAC hasn’t put up an advisory on it. The last one on Popocatepetl, as of the time of writing is 0931 UTC.


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Speaking of the VAAC center in Washington–the real center–have you seen this?


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I’m pretty sure it’s a fake account and a fauxtegraph. No blue check for one thing. Too, real US government accounts always have disclaimers on them. For another, there isn’t anything in any tweet that some troll couldn’t have picked up elsewhere on the Web–nothing really original. Finally, I’ve seen nothing on the VAAC website to indicate they even have a Twitter account–they don’t need followers, they need to get information to pilots in a timely way, and Twitter isn’t necessary for that.

So, both account and picture are probably fake. The closest we’re going to ever get to a conjunction of Popocatepetl and Aztec gods is my screen cap yesterday (see yesterday’s images). 🙂

Anyway, I read a news story yesterday saying that an Aztec god of death wasn’t emerging from Popocatepetl and thought it was satire. But apparently it was based on this fake image. Some people buy it.

That’s too bad, but fortunately people watching the volcano as it really is recognize its true beauty. Here is a view from October 2nd, as the colossus interacts with the atmosphere.


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And on an even more healthy psychological note, the local people are handling the stress in their traditional way. A “tiempero” has made the news (Spanish).

I mentioned this tradition in a previous post (where I misspelled the Spanish word).

These “timekeepers” are local people who have met the personification of Popocatepetl, often as children while out on the volcano’s flanks. That’s Don Goyo; I think it’s a reference to the man’s curly hair (as well as a Catholic saint); these curls resemble the steam clouds that often surround the top of the volcano.

Don Goyo appears to reassure people in times of trouble and warn them of danger.

It helps, as this video from Clio TV shows: I asked them, and there is no English-language transcript, but images speak a thousand words, and you can watch the tiempero in action when Popo suddenly awoke in 1994 and scared everybody, from the countryside up into the university and government levels. (And perhaps you have a computer ability to translate the captions–I don’t on my mobile device.)

The translation of the title is “Popocatepetl: The Volcano That Listens.”



9:54 a.m., Pacific: Ah, here we go:

October 06, 11:00 h (October 06, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring system was recorded, 67 low intensity exhalations, accompanied by steam, gas and ash (image 1). Additionally were recorded eight explosions, five yesterday at 17:30, 22:29, 22:35, 22:37 and 22:57 h, and three today at 00:49, 02:46 y 07:58 h, also was recorded 480 minutes of harmonic tremor. During the night, it was possible to observe the crater, and we cannot observe incandescence. At moment of this report is possible to observe that the emissions of steam, gas and ashes are dispersed to the north-west direction (image 2).

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.


From CENAPRED October 6th update.


October 5, 2018: A look at where current activity is at in relationship to the past month, as well as a look at deformation (left–note how high it was in 2000!) and seismic activity (much higher in 2016):


CENAPRED releases these on their website daily, along with the update.

And here is the update for today; Popo has been having a lot of vulcanian explosions, but the alert level remains the same.

October 05, 11:00 h (October 05, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring system was recorded, 188 low intensity exhalations, accompanied by steam, gas and ash (image 1). Additionally were recorded nine explosions, seven yesterday at 10:26, 13:53, 16:04, 16:28, 21:39, 23:02 and 23:04 h and two today at 01:28 and 09:36 (image 2) , also was recorded 358 minutes of harmonic tremor. During the night, it was possible to observe incandescence during some events, (image 3) .

At moment of this report is possible to observe that the emissions of steam, gas and ashes are dispersed to the west south-west direction (image 4).

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

Popo, about 15 minutes ago:


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That ash, dispersing towards Mexico City and environs, plus the immense steam cloud that the colossus is huffing out right now, as seen from Puebla a few minutes ago:


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Still watching and waiting . . .


PS: Another explosion, soon after the one shown above in tweets . . . maybe Don Goyo is trying to shoot down that bug passing Aztec deity. :):



Update, October 5. 2018, 5:38 p.m.: No real changes, just checking the information. This happened about mid-afternoon:


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(Cortes Pass is indeed the pass Hernan Cortes used to cross the mountains and reach the Aztec capital centuries ago; not all historians are on board with the story that he sent a soldier (or one volunteered, depending on which source you’re using) to climb Popocatepetl and get sulfur to replenish the gunpowder supplies. And yes, Popo was doing much the same thing it’s doing now–vulcanian eruptions (though not the same one; the volcano had been quiet for a while before it erupted in 1994).

Anyway, that eruption shown in the tweet above has created an ash plume extending 9 nautical miles west of the summit, per Washington VAAC. An online news search doesn’t show any flight delays because of it, but Popo’s activity yesterday put enough ash into the air to affect flights at Mexico City and Toluca airports, per this story (Spanish).



Update, October 4, 2018, 5:59 p.m., Pacific: No change with Popo (another explosion since the last update); just wanted to share this. It is typical of tweets I’ve seen here and in other local and national jurisdiction, where officials get out and talk with people and local authorities, helping them get prepared for an increase in the eruption level.


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Per Google Translate, “Meeting of the authorities of San Miguel Tecuanipa, with personnel of the Disaster Prevention Directorate of ProtecciónCivilEstatal to define the points of concentration of people in case of being necessary an evacuation by activity of the Popocatepetl volcano.”

As mentioned below, they are also arranging for shelters, setting up plans for school evacuations, repairing evacuation routes (this thing has been going on for 24 years and the climate can be very rainy), and so forth. Forewarned is indeed forearmed.

At this stage, you just don’t know how many lives these people might have saved today with this outreach.


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Update, October 4, 2018, 1:10 p.m., Pacific: Whatever delayed it, the October 4th CENAPRED update is now up:

October 04, 11:00 h (October 04, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring system was recorded, 173 low intensity exhalations, accompanied by steam, gas and ash (image 1). Additionally was recorded two explosions, one yesterday at 21:04 h, and one today at 08:46 h (image 2) , and two volcanotectonic events , one yesterday at 11:19 h and one today at 07:25 h with magnitudes 1.5 and 2.4 respectively. Also was recorded 358 minutes of harmonic tremor. The next video shows the activity from 06:42 and 09:55 h (video 1). During the night, it was not possible to observe the crater continuously, but was possible to observe some incandescence during some events, (image 3) .

At moment of this report is possible to observe that the emissions of steam, gas and ashes are dispersed to the west south-west direction (image 4).

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2

.

Here is a time-lapse video from SEGOB of this morning’s activity; interesting meteorological effects, both in the foothills and valleys as the sun heats the air and also above and downwind of the volcano, presumably from hot air parcels:




Update, October 4, 2018, 10:32 a.m.: Uh-oh. Apparently there isn’t a unified front from the authorities. This story just came in. An excerpt, per Google Translate:

MEXICO CITY

The General Coordination of Civil Protection of the State of Mexico stressed that in the Popocatépetl volcano the activity prevails in the scenarios foreseen for the yellow alert Phase 2, in spite of the explosions that occurred on Thursday morning.

Through his Twitter account @pciviledomex, he asked the public to keep informed and observe the security measures especially if there is ash fall, as well as to be attentive to the volcanic warning light.

This morning saw another explosion, with a fumarole more than a kilometer high and with a high ash content, informed the National Coordinator of Civil Protection of the Ministry of the Interior (Segob), Luis Felipe Puente.

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In his account @LUISFELIPE_P of Twitter, the federal official explained that before the possibility of ash fall, it is important that the population follow the recommendations of civil protection to avoid damages to health, although the traffic light of volcanic alert remains in Yellow Phase 2. . .

Here’s what I don’t understand–what happened to CENAPRED? What is Sr. Fuente’s scientific basis for his statements, and why is it apparently no longer public now?

Dr. Valdes changed his Twitter profile over the weekend from Director General of CENAPRED to seismology investigator at the University of Mexico. I didn’t mention it here because it had no apparent connection to the volcano. He did not mention Popo again until this morning, when he tweeted:


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“The National Center for Prevention of Disasters . . . constantly monitors and evaluates the activity of Popocatepetl volcano.”

But starting today, the top stories on their website are about astronomical phenomena and flooding (which is happening in the area). There is no October 4th update from CENAPRED, even though it is in eruption as you can see in the cams (above) and other shared imags here.

Now, I’m sure everyone is trying to do what is best for the people of Mexico–the stakes are incredibly high here. There probably is a reasonable explanation for what has happened. But this must be shaking up a lot of people today in the affected area. Thankfully, I’ve never been in such a high-pressure situation, but everything I’ve read about communication during a volcanic crisis emphasizes the importance of scientists and authorities speaking with one voice.

There seems to have been a fracture here. And it comes at a very bad time.

I will simply ask this and leave it hanging: is it scientifically accurate to maintain Popocatepetl at Yellow Phase 2 this morning, same as the previous mornings in recent years? When does the alert level change, who decides it, and what measures for public safety will be enabled?

Also, what can we expect from the volcano in the coming days and weeks?

It’s not enough just to say, the alert color is the same and stay in your homes and protect yourselves. You have to give people some information to work with, especially at a time like this.


Update, October 4, 2018, 9:47 a.m., Pacific: No word yet from CENAPRED per its website, and I can’t get into the monitoring page, but here’s the current view from near Puebla:


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October 4, 2018: Several explosions at Popo this morning, just checking Twitter feeds while waiting for CENAPRED update (update: it’s late this morning). This is from a Webcams de Mexico Twitter account, Google translation below:


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“What to do before this activity? Respect the radius of 12 km from the crater. Avoid rumors. Wear masks and sweep the ash. Prevent the ash from entering the water tanks/cisterns. DO NOT leave pets and their food exposed to the outdoors.”

Chemicals in ash can be harmful and will leach into food, water, grass, etc. In 1783, many Icelanders experienced famine because of this effect on their livestock (from the Laki eruption) as well as on their crops.

Per other tweets, there are reports of a “combustible odor” in Puebla, but that probably has nothing to do wtih the volcano’s emissions, as the wind is in the opposite direction, as shown on this map of predicted ashfall from one of this morning’s explosions:


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October 3, 2018: Still waiting and watching:

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems, 163 exhalations were identified, accompanied by water vapor, gas and light amounts of ash. Three explosions, two recorded yesterday at 10:13 and 22:37 and one today at 04:26 with emission of water vapor, gas and moderate ash content. In addition, 324 minutes of harmonic tremor, of which 20 minutes recorded amplitude between 4 and 30 um, peak to peak, the others had amplitudes less than 4 um. During the night, the volcano could be observed with a constant emission of water vapor and gas as well as slight incandescence. At the time of this report, the continuous emission of water vapor and gas is observed, with a southwest west direction.

The CENAPRED urges NOT TO APPROACH the volcano and especially the crater, for the danger that involves the fall of ballistic fragments and in case of heavy rains away from the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and mudflows.

The Popocatepetl Volcanic Alert Traffic Light is located in Amarillo Yellow Phase 2.


Addendum, October 3, 2018, 6:26 p.m. Pacific: Just came across this lovely view. Yes, that’s more activity than Popo has done lately. Still, it’s a piece of art. Unless you feel it yourself–and it has gotten me watching the volcano over the past several years on the CENAPRED webcams–it’s hard to describe the affection one develops for this beautiful, terrible place.


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October 2, 2018, 5:56 p.m., Pacific: No change in alert, but this tweet from Puebla officials shows how volcanologists can monitor a volcano even when they can’t see it very well (of note, the rainy season at Popocatepetl is almost over and webcam views will clear around the end of this month):


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“Explosion at Popocatepetl at 2:51 p.m. [local time]. The eruptive column from this explosion rose 3 km in height. Without direction reference of ash dispersion because of cloudiness, the wind direction indicates to the west, or to Mexico City [technically, the State of Mexico].”


October 2, 2018, 12:44 p.m.: Don Goyo is majestic, even when it is scary:


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In CENAPRED’s update this morning, they gave more detailed information about the harmonic tremor (emphasis added); first time I’ve seen them do that. However, the alert is still Yellow Phase 2.

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems, 163 exhalations were identified, accompanied by water vapor, gas and light amounts of ash. Three explosions, two recorded yesterday at 10:13 and 22:37 and one today at 04:26 with emission of water vapor, gas and moderate ash content. In addition, 324 minutes of harmonic tremor, of which 20 minutes recorded amplitude between 4 and 30 um, peak to peak, the others had amplitudes less than 4 um. During the night, the volcano could be observed with a constant emission of water vapor and gas as well as slight incandescence. At the time of this report, the continuous emission of water vapor and gas is observed, with a southwest west direction.

The CENAPRED urges NOT TO APPROACH the volcano and especially the crater, for the danger that involves the fall of ballistic fragments and in case of heavy rains away from the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and mudflows.

The Popocatepetl Volcanic Alert Traffic Light is located in Amarillo Phase 2.


October 1, 2018, 8:25 p.m., Pacific: Nothing new–I just keep checking the sources. Another low-level emission at the moment:


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There is no change in alert status, either, but this official Puebla account does warn against believing in rumors, like one apparently circulating now that a sudden evacuation is about to be called. It’s false: still Yellow Phase 2 and no evacuations are imminent.

Yet.

Volcanoes are stressful, even when they don’t erupt violently.

Addendum, October 2nd: This article (Spanish) may explain the rumors: officials have 700 schools near the volcano set up to act as shelters if and when an evacuation is called. Actually, after running that through Google Translate, they’re planning to evacuate 700 schools, with about 20,000 students, near Popocatepetl, if necessary. “Thousands” of schools are to be used as shelters, but these are at some distance from the volcano.

Meanwhile, at the time of writing this, Popo simmers under the faint moonlight:



Yes, that is ash, and an advisory is in place:


Mexico City area is likely getting a dusting again.

October 1, 2018: A vulcanian eruption at 10:13 this morning, local time. This is not the big one (VAAC Washington called it small), but like many of these explosions, it’s bigger than what the volcano has been doing in recent years.


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You see that white glacier on the right? I suppose as the magma gets higher, the edifice will warm up and that glacier will melt, bringing lahars and floods into the lowlands. CENAPRED routinely warns people to stay out of ravines and canyons, because it’s risky even with rainfall.

Just another volcanic hazard at Popocatepetl. Sigh.

Another tweet shows that they are using HYSPLIT, the same model that volcanologists used to predict vog travel at Kilauea during this summer’s LERZ eruption (and probably they’re still using it there, of course):


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Of note, Puebla is on the other side of the range (clear, in this image, which shows potential ashfall in Mexico City and nearby areas).

I wasn’t a volcanophile back in 1980 and so missed the media coverage of Mount St. Helens’s reactivation and eventual eruption. But truly this watchful waiting at Popocatepetl must be similar, though the US media is missing it because it’s happening in another country. This is even worse, because so much infrastructure and so many people are at risk.

Things seem a little quieter as described by CENAPRED this morning, but that’s no longer comforting in terms of a possible long-term trend, in light of this weekend’s announcement from UNAM experts. But the alert level is still the same.

Per Google Translate:

September 30, 11:15 h (September 30, 16:15 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the monitoring systems of the Popocatépetl volcano, 84 exhalations were identified, accompanied by water vapor, gas and light quantities of ash. An explosion at 07: 01h with emission of water vapor, gas and moderate ash content of 2400m in height. A volcanotectonic earthquake was also recorded yesterday at 6:59 p.m. with magnitude 1.5. In addition, 23 minutes of harmonic tremor of low amplitude. During the night, the volcano was observed with a constant emission of water vapor and gas 800m high. At the time of this report, the continuous emission of water vapor and gas is observed, with a west direction.

The Popocatepetl Volcanic Alert Traffic Light is located in Amarillo Yellow Phase 2.

Amarillo, besides being a town in Texas, means “yellow.”


September 30, 2018: An impressive explosion this morning, a little after 7:


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Yep, Don Goyo is packing more muscle these days.

And, per Dr. Valdes, here’s an image of a light explosion at Popo this morning at 10:06 local time. They’ve installed new seismic stations, GPS, and surveillance cameras, thanks to the Preventive Fund working together with CENAPRED and the University of Mexico’s Geophysics Institute.


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I’m impressed at how seriously the volcanologists are taking this and also at the news coverage, which is calm, measured, and informative. I think here in the States there would be a media circus if scientists said a large amount of magma was rising in a volcano; but then, 25 million people being at risk when it erupts is a very sobering consideration.

Be safe, people!

Here is today’s CENAPRED update:

September 29, 11:00 h (September 29, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring system, 183 low intensity exhalations, accompanied by steam, gas and small amounts of ash (image 1), (image 2) , as well as light incandescence (image 3) . An explosion was registered at 02:10 h (image 4), (image 5), (video 1). Additionally, 92 minutes of low amplitude-harmonic tremor. Also, three volcanotectonic earthquakes were registered yesterday at 11:07 h, 18:41 h and 19:44 h with magnitudes 2.5, 1.7 and 2.6, respectively.

CENACOM confirms ash falling in comunities to the west of the Popocatépetl: Atlautla, Tehuixtitlan, Cuecuecuautitla, Estado de México.

At the moment of this report we can see the volcano the continuous emission of volcanic gases in a westerly direction (image 6) , (image 7).

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.



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September 29, 2018: More of the same, including light ashfall, with a little bit less tremor, but a few small earthquakes that caused local headlines.

Light ashfall in parts of Mexico City this morning:


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September 29, 11:00 h (September 29, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring system, 183 low intensity exhalations, accompanied by steam, gas and small amounts of ash (image 1), (image 2) , as well as light incandescence (image 3) . An explosion was registered at 02:10 h (image 4), (image 5), (video 1). Additionally, 92 minutes of low amplitude-harmonic tremor. Also, three volcanotectonic earthquakes were registered yesterday at 11:07 h, 18:41 h and 19:44 h with magnitudes 2.5, 1.7 and 2.6, respectively.

CENACOM confirms ash falling in comunities to the west of the Popocatépetl: Atlautla, Tehuixtitlan, Cuecuecuautitla, Estado de México.

At the moment of this report we can see the volcano the continuous emission of volcanic gases in a westerly direction (image 6) , (image 7).

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments. . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.


Here’s an earlier eruption this morning, seen from Puebla, I think, on the other side of the range:


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Remember, Don Goyo has been doing this almost continously since 1994. What a strain on local communities, authorities, and emergency management officials! Why? Because it’s impossible to predict whether the next outburst might be much bigger; it’s possible, based on the volcano’s history.

My concern, just as a lay onlooker, is that there does seem to be a slight uptick in the overall activity recently (per previous notes below); that’s why I’ve started live-blogging it.

Update, 1 p.m. Pacific: Just read this article (Spanish), and learned that volcanologists suspect the increased activity may be due to that large quake in the area last year. They will be placing four more monitoring stations around Popo in coming weeks.

Excerpts, per Google Translate:

The activity of the Popocatépetl volcano is increasing and one of the causes would be linked to the magnitude 7.1 earthquake, which occurred on September 19, 2017, with an epicenter on the state boundary between the Puebla and Morelos states, said Ana Lillian Martín del Pozzo, volcanologist at the Institute of Geophysics (IGf) of the UNAM

…the specialist said that the colossus has not stopped, “he has been awake since December 1994, he has not gone to sleep, but the earthquake of 19 September of last year, whose epicenter was in a relatively close area, affected it. ”

“Its dynamism has been registered for a month, showed a high point on Thursday September 20, and yesterday saw another important issue column,” he said in a statement issued by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

The volcanologist said that last Sunday a group of geologists collected samples of ash to analyze and identified magma droplets, which possibly “are associated with domes that appear to be smaller, are formed when the magma rises and are sprayed, and have been presented in chain.

One is created and explodes, then another, and explodes, but we must be careful and careful to know if there are changes. “This is a different volcanic activity than what has been presented in other periods,” he said.

On the “Effects of the September earthquakes on the Popocatépetl”, Ramón Espinasa Pereña, deputy director of Volcanic Risks of the Research Directorate of the National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred), … explained that in 2015 the colossus had an average of 16.5 monthly vulcano-tectonic earthquakes; in 2016 that number increased to 35; in 2017, before September, the average was 39, “but it was already increasing”.

From that month until December last year, it rose to 110, and in January 2018 “the record was broken with 221, and although it has decreased since February, we are still above base levels, with 87,” he explained.

He said that the day after the earthquake on September 19, the Popocatépetl had the maximum of exhalations that have been had in a single day, with 286, although that number began to increase much earlier.

“The good news is that it is feasible to predict a major eruption from monitoring data with a well-functioning network thanks to a project with the Geophysics Institute, station relay and well seismograph placement, instead of seismographs. surface, “he said.

In that sense, he pointed out that six stations currently operate in the cone of the volcano and in the next few weeks another four will be placed, below…

I just read the UNAM bulletin (Spanish), released online about three hours ago, and am going to do a post on it.


September 28, 2018: No major changes in this morning’s update; tremor is down a bit. Per Dr. Valdes, director general of CENAPRED, “Exposion at Popocatepetl volcano, 10:27. A clear difference between water vapor and ash. Alert yellow, phase 2. Safety radius [no-go zone] 12 km.”


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September 27, 2018: Put yourself in the volcanologist’s place. This goes on day after day, decade after decade, in a volcano with a much more violent history, and there are some 25 million people at risk.

And through it all, constantly on alert, these heroes maintain their watch and issue their daily reports.

In the last 24 hours, through the monitoring systems of the Popocatépetl volcano, 141 exhalations were identified, accompanied by water vapor, gas and light amounts of ash. Likewise, there were 4 explosions at 22:59, 23:59, 00:48 and 02:44 h. In addition 309 minutes of harmonic tremor of low amplitude. At the time of this report, the continuous emission of volcanic gases is observed, which winds disperse to the west.

CENAPRED urges NOT TO APPROACH the volcano and especially the crater, for the danger of falling ballistic fragments and in case of heavy rains away from the bottoms of ravines because of the risk of landslides and mudflows.


September 26, 2018: Popo hasn’t settled down, but it’s not increasing its activity, either. Yellow Phase 2, still, and no more updates tweeted by Dr. Valdes thus far. Per Google Translate today:

In the last 24 hours, through the monitoring systems of the Popocatépetl volcano, 107 exhalations were identified, accompanied by water vapor, gas and light amounts of ash, the most important were those recorded yesterday at 4:12 pm and 17 : 03 h. Likewise, there were 3 explosions, 430 minutes of low amplitude harmonic tremor and three volcanotectonic earthquakes, with magnitude between 1.4 and 1.8. During the night, slight incandescence was observed over the crater. At the time of this report there is no visibility to the volcano, however early in the morning the continuous emission of volcanic gases, which the winds disperse to the west, was observed.

One good thing to come of all this excitement–local authorities are reviewing the condition of evacuation routes (Spanish), in case they are eventually needed.


September 25, 2018: From Dr. Valdes, early this morning (that’s not flowing lava but incandescent fragments):


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And this morning’s daily update (CENAPRED didn’t issue special reports–vulcanian activity like this is what Popocatepetl does now and then; the concern is that it isn’t known whether this can escalate into a bigger event–Popo has some Plinian eruptions and flank collapses in its past [those links are to general info; see background post links above for more details of Popocatepetl’s own history]):



September 25, 11:00 h (September 25, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring system 64 low intensity exhalations, accompanied by steam, gas and small ammounts of ash were detected, thwe most important events were recorder today at 09:07, 09:18 and 10:26 h (image 1 , image 2 and image 3 ). Also were registered eleven explosions, the most important events were ocurred yesterday at 11:51 and 12:16 h (video 1 and video 2 ) and today at 03:18 h (image 4 and image 5 ), this event generate a column between 2 km high with moderate ash content and fragments incandescent.

Additionally, were detected 484 minutes of low amplitude tremor and two volcanotectonic earthquakes, the first was registered yesterday at 18:36 h and the last one was recorder today at 05:59 h with respective magnitudes of 2.3 and 2.9.

At the moment of this report there is partial visibility towards the volcano in which the continuous emission of water vapor and other gases that disperse in a south-southeast direction (image 6) .

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

An interesting point, at least to this layperson, is that the tremor didn’t quiet down after the explosions as it often does. I’m guessing Don Goyo, instead of slowly pushing up lava to form a dome that sits there for a while, is actively extruding lava at a fairly high rate; it collects around the vent; and when the weight of the accumulated lava gets too much, boom! (lots of gas in the lava, too), even as more lava comes up.

Addendum: A lovely, though scary, view of one of yesterday’s plumes seen from Mexico City:


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(Edited September 25, 2018, 7:05 p.m.)



September 24, 2018, 5:19 p.m., Pacific: OK, I’m wrong. A look at the Twitter feeds for Dr. Carlos Valdes, head of CENAPRED, and SkyAlert, quoting VAAC, shows that this has been going on episodically for a while, at least six hours, with ash fall reports. They haven’t raised the alert level.


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Area in red: ash reports. Area in yellow (which includes Mexico City): ash forecast. (Update: Per this story [Spanish], it won’t be in sufficient quantity to cause any risk.)


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September 24, 2018, 5:10 p.m. Pacific: This morning’s bulletin wasn’t much of a change so I didn’t post it here. However, a look at the cams just now shows increased activity; thus far, CENAPRED hasn’t updated their website. I think this just began; it looks vulcanian (repeated relatively small-scale blasts instead of a big blow-out), but some people are going to get ashfall from this.




White clouds mean steam (or they might be regular clouds); dark cloud is ash; note remnant of previous burst on the right.

September 23, 2018: Not all of the Spanish-language bulletin today made it into the English version–parts in brackets are my own translation.


After uncapping some explosively fizzing soda bottles, I’m glad Don Goyo is apparently releasing its own contents gradually!

September 23, 11:00 h (September 23, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring system 49 low intensity exhalations, accompanied by steam, gas and small ammounts of ash were detected. Also five explosions occured at 20:50 h, yesterday (image 1) [which threw some fragments over the north flank of the volcano and produced an ash column of 1.4 km above the crater], and today at 00:18 (image 2) , 00:37 (image 3) [with an ash column of 1.9 km], 06:35 h (imagen 4) and 09:29 h (imagen 5) . The emissions were dispersed towards west-southwest.

Additionally, 442 minutes of low amplitude tremor and two volcanotectonic earthquakes with preliminar magnitud of 1.9, were detected.

At the moment of this report the visibility is limited due to clouds; at earlier hours an emission of steam and gas was observed (image 6) .

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.


September 22, 2018: Thankfully, Don Goyo has quieted down a bit, except for that one explosion.

September 22, 11:00 h (September 22, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring system 40 low intensity exhalations, accompanied by steam, gas and small ammounts of ash were detected. Also three explosions occured at 14:11 (image 1) , 15:18 (image 2) and 20:23 (image 3) . The first one produced an ash column with height of 2.8 km above the crater. It was dispersed towards west-southwest.

Additionally, 21 minutes of low amplitude tremor were detected.

During the night incandescence and a continuous emission of steam and gas were observed (image 4).

At the moment of this report, an emission of steam and gas is present (image 5) .

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.


September 21, 2018: Right now, the webcams are clear and Popo is breathtakingly incandescent under the bright moonlight. Pity these aren’t in color!



They also did an overflight today. See how the floor of the crater around that steaming hole is up close to the top of the walls? If an eruption produces a lot of material, there are going to be pyroclastic flows, because there’s no room inside the crater for it. (Learned about this in the “Challenges” paper linked above.)

September 21, 15:40 h (September 21, 20:40 GMT)

UPDATE
Today, with the aid of the Federal Police, a reconnaisance overflight of Popocatepetl##s crater was made . . . The volcano was actively emmitting a continuous plume of steam and gases that made observations difficult . . . Nevertheless, it could be seen that the inner crater remains the same size, and inside, the remains of dome 80, emplaced at the end of August and partially destroyed by the recent explosions, could be seen . . .

September 21, 11:15 h (September 21, 16:15 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems were identify 48 low intensity exhalations accompanied by steam and volcanic gas, also twelve explosions at 11:11 . . . , 11:50 . . . , 12:10 . . . , 12:53 . . . , 13:02 . . . , 13:49 . . . , 14:31 . . . , 15:58 . . . , 16:12 h . . . , 04:36 . . . , 05:30 . . . and 09:18 h, additionally was recorder 152 minutes of tremor and one earthquake at 15:06 h with magnitude of 1.3.

During the night it was partially observed towards the volcano due to the high cloudiness . . .

At the time of this report, we have intermittent visibility to the volcano, we observe that the emission of steam and other gases were disperse in a west-southwest direction . . .

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

September 20, 2018: Don Goyo is restless.



September 20, 11:00 h (September 20, 11:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring system identified 76 low intensity exhalations accompanied by steam, volcanic gases and small amounts of ash. . . Additionally, eleven explosions were recorded, yesterday at 13:42, 13:49, 15:17 . . . 17:18, 18:37 . . . , 19:08 . . . , 21:21 . . ., 21:28 y 23:35, and this morning at 01:48 y 03:17 h.

Also, 542 minutes of low-amplitude harmonic tremor were recorded.

At the time of this report, we have intermittent visibility to the volcano, we observe that the emission of steam and other gases and ash is dispersed in a west direction . . . .

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.


September 15, 2018: I haven’t been able to access the CENAPRED reports page, but the volcanic traffic alert signal is still Yellow, Phase 2. The webcams show some increased activity but nothing more than usual: incandescence at night, fuming and exhalations during the day, and occasional explosions.


September 11, 2018: Lots more tremor! Also, VT events up a bit.


September 11, 11:00 h (September 11, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems were identify 93 low intensity exhalations accompanied by steam and volcanic gases (image 1), additionally was recorder 387 minutes of harmonic tremor, three volcanotectonic events, one yesterday at 17:34 h, and two today at 02:05 and 06:49 h, with magnitude Mc 1.4, 2.8, and 1.7 respectively and four explosions, two yesterday at 22:22 and 23:37 h and two today at 03:24 and 08:49 h. (image 2)

During the night was possible to observed incandescence which increase in some episodes (image 3).

At the time of this report, we have intermittent visibility to the volcano, we observe that the emission of steam and other gases were disperse in a north-northeast direction (image 4)

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.


September 9, 2018: Both explosions and tremor up a bit over the last 24 hours. That’s a lot better than increased tremors and no explosions (which would mean pressure was building up).




September 9, 11:00 h (September 9, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, were identified through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems 279 low intensity exhalations accompanied by steam and volcanic gases and eight explosions yesterday at 14:42 h, 16:02 h, 16:03 h, 16:30 h, 21:12 h and 23:32 h and today at 02:41 h and 05:45 h (image 1), (image 2), (image 3), (image 4), (image 5), (image 6), (video 1), (image 7), (image 8). Also, was registered one volcanotectonic earthquake yesterday at 19:11 h with magnitude 2.4. Additionally, were detected 56 minutes of harmonic and low amplitude tremor.

During the night we observed a gently incandecense which increase in some episodes (image 9).

At the time of this report, we have visibility to the volcano, we observe the emission of water vapor and other gases that disperse in a south direction (image 10), (image 11), (image 12), (image 13).

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

The scenarios foreseen for this phase are:

1. Explosive activity of low to intermediate level.

2. Ash fall in nearby towns.

3. Possibility of short range pyroclastic flows and mudflows .

Special emphasis is placed on the following recommendations:

1. Continue the safety radius of 12 km, so staying in that area is not allowed.

2. Keep the controlled traffic between Santiago Xalitzintla and San Pedro Nexapa through Paso de Cortés.

3. Civil Protection authorities, keep your preventive procedures, in accordance with their operational plans.

4. People, be alert to the official information disseminated.

In case of ashfall, address the following recommendations:

• Cover nose and mouth with a wet handkerchief or face mask.

• Clean eyes and throat with pure water.

• Avoid contact lenses to reduce eye irritation.

• Close windows or cover them up, and stay indoors as much as possible.

Popocatepetl Volcano monitoring is performed continuously 24 hours a day. Any change in activity will be reported in due course.

DMVEM


September 7, 2018: Will just share a graphic from this morning’s CENAPRED update, showing the gist–exhalations (those “puffs” Don Goyo gives off occasionally) and VT earthquakes up a bit, harmonic tremor decreased:

CENAPRED/UNAM

September 6, 11:20 h (September 6, 16:20 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, were identified through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems 37 low intensity exhalations accompanied by steam and volcanic gases (image 1) (image 2) (image 3) (video 1) (video 2). Also, were registered yesterday an explosion ocurred at 14:01 h, today a volcanotectonic earthquake at 04:19 h with 1.7 magnitud and a total of 141 minutes of low amplitude tremor in this period.

During the night we observed a gently incandecense which increase in some episodes (image 4).

At the time of this report, we have visibility to the volcano, we observe the emission of water vapor and other gases that disperse in a norwest direction (image 5).

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments . . . and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.


Low-amplitude tremor back:

September 5, 11:20 h (September 5, 16:20 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, were identified through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems 57 low intensity exhalations accompanied by steam (image 1) (image 2) (image 3). Four explosions were detectead, yesterday at 17:24 and 18:09 h, today at 01:12 h and 04:21 h. Also, a vulcanotectonic event was detected yesterday at 11:32 with a 1.6 magnitude. Finally, a total of 290 minutes of low amplitude tremor was recorded.

During the night we observed a gently incandecense which increase in some episodes (image 4).

At the time of this report, we have visibility to the volcano, we observe the emission of water vapor and other gases that disperse in a west direction (image 5).


No tremor mentioned in this bulletin–will go back to just keeping an eye on Don Goyo’s daily updates and the news and only post here when there is some notable change in activity or any shift of the volcanic “traffic signal” alert status. Glad the Colossus of Puebla has settled down a little!



September 1st, 11:20 h (September 1st, 16:20 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems, 24 low intensity exhalations accompanied by steam were identified (image 1). Additionally, 2 explosions were recorded. In addition, three volcanotectonic earthquakes were detected today at 05:28, 05:50 and 08:34 h, with magnitude of 1.4, 2.4 and 1.4 respectively.

During the night intense incandescence was observed above de crater (image 2) (image 3).

At the time of this report, we can see the continuous emission of volcanic gases in a northwesterly direction (image 4).

At the time of this report, there is no visibility, although earlier it was seen with a slight emission of steam and gas that the wind disperses to the west-southwest (image 7).

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments (image 5) and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

The scenarios foreseen for this phase are:

1. Explosive activity of low to intermediate level.

2. Ash fall in nearby towns.

3. Possibility of short range pyroclastic flows and mudflows .

Special emphasis is placed on the following recommendations:

1. Continue the safety radius of 12 km, so staying in that area is not allowed.

2. Keep the controlled traffic between Santiago Xalitzintla and San Pedro Nexapa through Paso de Cortés.

3. Civil Protection authorities, keep your preventive procedures, in accordance with their operational plans.

4. People, be alert to the official information disseminated.

In case of ashfall, address the following recommendations:

• Cover nose and mouth with a wet handkerchief or face mask.

• Clean eyes and throat with pure water.

• Avoid contact lenses to reduce eye irritation.

• Close windows or cover them up, and stay indoors as much as possible.

Popocatepetl Volcano monitoring is performed continuously 24 hours a day. Any change in activity will be reported in due course.

GVCJ


Much less harmonic tremor reported in this bulletin–not surprising, after 36 low-level explosions in five hours!

August 31, 11:20 h (August 31, 16:20 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems, 144 low intensity exhalations accompanied by steam were identified (image 1). Additionally, 36 explosions were recorded with light amounts of ash and volcanic gases (imagen 2) (imagen 3). In addition, three volcanotectonic earthquakes were detected today at 04:39, 06:06 and 07:06 h, with magnitude of 1.6, 1.7 and 1.54 respectively, and 10 minutes of low amplitude harmonic tremor.

During the night intense incandescence was observed above de crater (image 4) (image 5).

At the time of this report, we cannot see the volcano. But this morning we can see the continuous emission of volcanic gases in a westerly direction (image 6).

At the time of this report, there is no visibility, although earlier it was seen with a slight emission of steam and gas that the wind disperses to the west-southwest (image 7).

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments (image 5) and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

The scenarios foreseen for this phase are:

1. Explosive activity of low to intermediate level.

2. Ash fall in nearby towns.

3. Possibility of short range pyroclastic flows and mudflows .

Special emphasis is placed on the following recommendations:

1. Continue the safety radius of 12 km, so staying in that area is not allowed.

2. Keep the controlled traffic between Santiago Xalitzintla and San Pedro Nexapa through Paso de Cortés.

3. Civil Protection authorities, keep your preventive procedures, in accordance with their operational plans.

4. People, be alert to the official information disseminated.

In case of ashfall, address the following recommendations:

• Cover nose and mouth with a wet handkerchief or face mask.

• Clean eyes and throat with pure water.

• Avoid contact lenses to reduce eye irritation.

• Close windows or cover them up, and stay indoors as much as possible.

Popocatepetl Volcano monitoring is performed continuously 24 hours a day. Any change in activity will be reported in due course.

GVCJ


August 30, 2018: Volcano alert level unchanged, but I think it’s worth keeping an eye on and have set up this page, which is better for multiple updates.

Per CENAPRED this morning:

August 30, 11:00 h (August 30, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems, 78 low intensity exhalations accompanied by water vapor and gas and a small amount of ash were identified (image 1). Additionally, two explosions were recorded today at 02:43 and 09:55 h (imagen 2). In addition, three volcanotectonic earthquakes were detected today at 03:18, 06:32 and 07:07 h, with preliminary magnitude of 1.8, 1.4 and 1.5, respectively, and 145 minutes of low amplitude harmonic tremor.

At the time of this report, there is little visibility of the volcano. If an ash emission were presented, it would have a west-southwest direction (image 3).

At the time of this report, there is no visibility, although earlier it was seen with a slight emission of steam and gas that the wind disperses to the west-southwest (image 4).

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments (image 5) and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

The scenarios foreseen for this phase are:

1. Explosive activity of low to intermediate level.

2. Ash fall in nearby towns.

3. Possibility of short range pyroclastic flows and mudflows .

Special emphasis is placed on the following recommendations:

1. Continue the safety radius of 12 km, so staying in that area is not allowed.

2. Keep the controlled traffic between Santiago Xalitzintla and San Pedro Nexapa through Paso de Cortés.

3. Civil Protection authorities, keep your preventive procedures, in accordance with their operational plans.

4. People, be alert to the official information disseminated.

In case of ashfall, address the following recommendations:

• Cover nose and mouth with a wet handkerchief or face mask.

• Clean eyes and throat with pure water.

• Avoid contact lenses to reduce eye irritation.

• Close windows or cover them up, and stay indoors as much as possible.

Popocatepetl Volcano monitoring is performed continuously 24 hours a day. Any change in activity will be reported in due course.

REP


August 29, 11:00 h (August 29, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems, 112 low intensity exhalations were identified, accompanied by steam and gas (image 1).

Additionally, 47 minutes of low-amplitude tremor were recorded, three volcanotectonic seisms ocurred yesterday at 10:50, 18:36 and 21:18 h, with magnitudes of 2.0, 2.1 and 1.4, respectively. During the night visibility was limited, and slight incandescence could be perceived over the crater (image 2).

This morning the volcano has been visible, with an intermitent fumarole of steam and gases, which looks denser during the larger exhalations (image 3).

At the time of this report, there is no visibility, although earlier it was seen with a slight emission of steam and gas that the wind disperses to the west-southwest (image 4).

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments (image 5) and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.


Original post (edited August 30, 2018):

They haven’t changed the status–tremor events like the one described in the CENAPRED bulletin (pasted below) happen around restless volcanoes. But I’ve been reading this article (it’s free, and the whole expert but nontechnical book on volcano hazards and communicating risk is worth downloading from Springer if you’re interested, or you can read it online).

It’s worth bringing this beautiful but dangerous volcano up again.


Per CENAPRED:

August 28, 11:00 h (August 28, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours, through the Popocatepetl volcano monitoring systems, 90 low intensity exhalations were identified, accompanied by steam and gas (image 1).

Additionally, 40 minutes of low-amplitude tremor were recorded, one volcanotectonic seism of magnitude 1.5 ocurred tonight at 00:57 h, and one explosion was detected, which could not be corroborated due to lack of visibility. During the night an intermitent fumarole was visible (image 2).

This morning the volcano has been visible, with an intermitent fumarole of steam and gases, which looks denser during the larger exhalations (image 3).

At the time of this report, there is no visibility, although earlier it was seen with a slight emission of steam and gas that the wind disperses to the west-southwest (image 4).

CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments (image 5) and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.

The Volcanic Traffic Light Yellow Phase 2.

The scenarios foreseen for this phase are:

1. Explosive activity of low to intermediate level.

2. Ash fall in nearby towns.

3. Possibility of short range pyroclastic flows and mudflows .

Special emphasis is placed on the following recommendations:

1. Continue the safety radius of 12 km, so staying in that area is not allowed.

2. Keep the controlled traffic between Santiago Xalitzintla and San Pedro Nexapa through Paso de Cortés.

3. Civil Protection authorities, keep your preventive procedures, in accordance with their operational plans.

4. People, be alert to the official information disseminated.

In case of ashfall, address the following recommendations:

• Cover nose and mouth with a wet handkerchief or face mask.

• Clean eyes and throat with pure water.

• Avoid contact lenses to reduce eye irritation.

• Close windows or cover them up, and stay indoors as much as possible.

Popocatepetl Volcano monitoring is performed continuously 24 hours a day. Any change in activity will be reported in due course.

REP


IMG_20180828_111355_334


Featured image: Popocatépetl from Puebla, from http://municipiospuebla.mx/nota/2019-02-23/puebla/protecci%C3%B3n-civil-lista-ante-contingencia-del-popocat%C3%A9petl


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