Photo Friday: Popocatépetl, Mexico’s Glacier-Covered Volcano

Popocatépetl is an active glacier-covered stratovolcano located in central Mexico. At nearly 18,000 feet, it is Mexico’s second tallest peak, just shy of the 18,500-foot-tall Citlaltépetl, which is a dormant stratovolcano located in southern Mexico.

NOAA’s Volcanic Ash Advisory Center, based in Washington DC, has been issuing daily advisories based on webcam footage showing increased activity at Popocatépetl.

An explosion at the volcano was reported Wednesday morning and, according to Mexican media, authorities advised residents of several Mexico City boroughs to take health precautions.

“Winds sent the ash to the west of the volcano, covering an area in southern and southeastern Mexico City that encompasses the boroughs of Magdalena Contreras, Tlalpan, Coyoacán, Xochimilco, Milpa Alta, Tláhuac, and Iztapalapa,” according to one source. “Authorities advised residents of those areas to cover their mouths and noses with damp handkerchiefs, clean their eyes and throat with water, and avoid using contact lenses, as these contribute to eye irritation in the presence of ash.”

Eruptions often cause lahars—fast-flowing and destructive streams of ash and lava.

Recent research published in the Journal of Vegetation Science found an increase in stress-tolerant, competitive vegetation due to lahar activity on Popocatépetl.

The north side of Popocatépetl is seen from Paso de Cortez. (Source: Jakub Hejtmánek/Wikimedia)

(Source: rainy city/Flickr)

Read More on GlacierHub:

On Carbon, AGU President Robin Bell Walks the Walk

Ragnar Axelsson Documents Iceland’s Disappearing Glaciers

Lahars Increase Stress-Tolerant Vegetation on Explosive Popocatépetl

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