Popocatepetl Crater Overflight This Morning

This is also in the Popocatepetl updates (see link at top of page), but it’s awesome enough to share in a separate post, too.

The volcanologists say the dome is 250 meters (roughly 820 feet) by 30 meters (98 feet) and has a volume of 1.5 million cubic meters/530 million cubic feet. Extrusion rate is 31 cubic meters/1,100 cubic feet per second. (Again, this type of volcano has “sticky” gray lava, not “runny” red lava like Kilauea.)

Per CENAPRED’s post this morning (via Google Translate and my own translation, with added link)

In the last 25 years of activity of the Popocatépetl volcano, 80 domes have formed; the recording of their growth and subsequent destruction has been possible thanks to the overflights made with the support of the Ministry of the Navy and the Federal Police.

In addition to the overflights, it should be noted that the monitoring of the Popocatépetl volcano includes seismic, geochemical, geodetic monitoring, remote sensor image analysis, etc.

The National Center for Disaster Prevention issues a bulletin [here it is in English] every 24 hours on the activity of the Popocatépetl volcano 365 days a year. Any change in the activity of the volcano is communicated in a timely manner by the official accounts of Civil Protection @PcSegob.

Of note, here is a time-lapse video of four webcams showing Popo this moring; of course the scale is too big to see the helicopter.

Per G. K. Chesterton, 114 years ago: Fight the thing that you fear.


Guest Videos: Taking A Volcano’s Pulse

If you have been following the Popocatepetl updates, you’ll know that I’ve been paying attention to the webicorder recently.

It’s fun to be able to see the volcano’s activity even when weather has it shrouded in clouds.

What is a webicorder?

What do earthquakes have to do with volcanoes?

A better question is, what can earthquakes (and webicorders) tell volcanologists about the events deep inside a fire mountain?

Popocatepetl, of course, is not a long-dormant volcano–its present activity began in 1994! I have no idea what I am looking at on the PPIG webicorder, but it’s fun to try to figure out.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory starts you out with lots of information on how to read a webicorder and also has live links to webicorders on Alaskan volcanoes.

And if you want even more information, check out the USGS seismogram display page! (Note: This includes non-volcano-monitoring seismometers, too.)

Featured image: Mammoth Mountain (left) by Geographer via Wikimedia, CC BY 1.0. Long Valley Caldera MEM webicorder (right; I don’t know if this relates to Mammoth Mountain), California Volcano Observatory

Meanwhile, in Puebla . . .

See update at bottom of post, or click the Popocatepetl link at the top of this page.

This is a 2011 view of nearby Popocatepetl volcano from downtown Puebla.

Today, people in this Mexican city are watching Popocatepetl with concern (you can follow updates on its activity through the link in the top menu–it has been a bit more restless lately).

Reportedly (Spanish), Puebla State’s Civil Protection director has made a public statement. Per Google Translate of this linked news story:

Although in the last hours and days the Popocatépetl volcano has presented constant explosive activity, with incandescent fragments expelled by the crater, the Civil Protection director of the state of Puebla, Rubén Darío Herrera Cabrera, assures that it is a normal cyclic activity and that there is nothing to worry about.

The incandescent fragments, explained the head of Civil Protection, are pieces of the dome . . .

Even though spectacular fumaroles have been seen in recent days, the largest of which is 2,400 meters above the crater, there is nothing to worry about; “Another point that is constantly monitored is the seismicity and that is totally low, we have very few reports of seismicity, which gives us peace of mind,” said Herrera Cabrera, adding that the volcanic warning light continues in Yellow Phase 2.

This is an image from last night’s explosion as seen from one of CENAPRED’s webcams:


This is a night-time image, but the camera is a very good one and the Moon is quite bright. That’s chunks of incandescent material blown out of the crater, not flowing lava. Popo’s lava is very sticky and forms a dome in its crater that eventually pressurizes and blows up–apparently this is the demise of Dome #78. (CENAPRED)

Again, just click on the link at the top of the page for links to more information about Popocatepetl and updates from me.

Update, September 25, 2018: Popo got into a dramatic mood yesterday; updates are at the Popocatepetl link at the top of this page. Meanwhile, here is an eruption the volcanologists monitoring this volcano captured–it’s just one of several yesterday:

Featured image: Luisalvaz, via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0

Guest Video: Cascades Volcanoes

We have looked at some of these volcanoes before, but this video presents an in-depth look at the situation in the Pacific Northwest, as seen in the 1990s.

Updates/More information:

A 2015 study on Mount Unzen and its effects on the Shimabara Peninsula.

CENAPRED’s monitoring page for Popo. (Spanish) Yes, the “smoking mountain” is still doing its thing today. Webcams de Mexico also has a good Popocatepétl page. (Spanish)

Pierce County’s Mount Rainier page.

Some volcano observatories:

Featured image: NASA

Be patient with Nature . . .

. . . and it will reward you with wonders.

Popocatépetl volcano in Mexico is currently in an active phase and I am live-blogging that. As part of the process, I save webcam images, from the three online volcano cams CENAPRED has set up around the volcano, and make time-lapse movies.

Anyone with a fairly recent computer (mine is four or five years old) and at least DSL speed on their Internet connection can do this easily. Continue reading