Sigurdsson H, Carey S N, Espindola J M, 1984. They associated these perturbations with the hydrothermal system. In late October, after the end of the rainy season, geologists will climb the volcano and sample gases. El Chichon is unique in location and in the composition of its ejecta. Some small accumulations of water remain associated with these deposits, but there have been no recent observations of large lakes such as the one that produced a fatal flood 26 May. Solfataras and hot springs were present in the crater and on the flanks. Today marks the 30th anniversary of one of the most important volcanic events of the 20th century -- the eruption of El Chichón in Mexico. Changes in hydrothermal activity noticed in April. Nine distinct signals were recorded, including a strong gravity wave, indicating that the eruption column struck the tropopause. Information Contacts: Jose Luis Macias, Juan Manuel Espindola, Zenon Jimenez, and Yuri Taran, Instituto de Geofisica, UNAM. Activity during 4 April 1982. Determinations from satellite and radiosonde data of initial cloud top altitudes (rows with temperature and tropopause data) and later downwind drift of ejecta (rows with drift data) from the four largest explosions of El Chichón, March-April 1982. The scientists authoring this report, which included those from the Instituto de Geofísica of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), noted that low-frequency rumbling (presumably tremor) can clearly be felt inside the active crater. The axis of maximum deposition extended approximately N from the summit for the 28 March tephra and roughly E from the summit for the 4 April material. An eruption column was emerging from the volcano by 0300 and blew to both the NE and SW. A series of gravity waves and acoustic signals from this activity were again recorded by Teledyne Geotech instruments near Dallas, Texas. James Luhr calculated that [~0.30] km3 of tephra (converted to a density of 2.6 g/cm3) had fallen within the 0.1 cm isopach (figure 2). & M. Meinel, W. Livingston, Univ. Ash and tephra fall from the eruption was 15 cm thick 20 km NE from El Chichón and 5 cm thick as far as 70 km NE. The fracture cuts through bedded domal talus breccia mapped by Rose and others (1984) and might evolve to produce rockfalls in the near future. Geologists reported that earthquakes as strong as magnitude 1.5 were recorded about every 3 minutes 6 April. Between these levels, winds were light and variable. Antipodal acoustic-gravity wave signals from the first 3 April and 4 April explosions were detected at Tennant Creek, Australia (19.52°S, 134.25°E). J. Volcanol. 6 Field Guide, p. 1-53. As a result, insects multiplied and devoured crops planted at the beginning of the rainy season, leaving many farmers without food. It was the worst volcanic disaster in Mexico's recorded history. Before its devastating eruption in 1982, El Chichon Volcano was little known and did not appear on any listings of hazardous volcanoes. 1982 eruption. El Chichón last erupted in 1982, in one of the most important volcanic events of the 20th century. The photograph in figure 5 was taken in April 2004 and shows the warm, bright green, acidic crater lake. A dense tephra cloud drifted ENE from the volcano and a much more diffuse plume moved in roughly the opposite direction (figure 1). In a little under a week, the seemingly dormant volcano in Chiapas produced three Plinian eruptions that killed at least 1,900 people living near the volcano and also released a remarkable amount of sulfur dioxide and particulates into the atmosphere relative to the size of the eruption. Slight variations in lake water temperature and migration of thermal fields on the crater floor were noticed during an April 1998 visit. Casadevall, T., de la Cruz-Reyna, S., Rose, W.I., Bagley, S., Finnegan, D.L., and Zoller, W.H., 1984, Crater lake and post-eruption hydrothermal activity, El Chichón Volcano, México: JVGR, v. 23, p. 169-191. Other observations. A high-temperature fumarole NE of the crater lake contains molten orange sulfur within the orifice of a 1-m-high feature otherwise covered with needle-like amorphous yellow sulfur. The calculated mean emission rate at the lake's surface in March 2007 was 1,500 g/(m2/day), and in December 2007 a preliminary estimate was 860 g/(m2/day). So, although the volcano erupted infrequently, when it did, it did it with gusto (a typical pattern for volcanoes with longer repose times). Temperatures measured by a thermocouple at 40 cm depth on 8 April averaged 360°C, and were as high as 402°C. Sulfide, which had not been present in samples since 1993, was at 3.22 mg/L, the highest concentration ever recorded. Lake level at El Chichón has continued to decline since 1992, dropping a total of 2 m (0.85 m from 1992 to 1993, and 1.15 m since 1993). Information Contacts: J. Each day updated global maps are compiled to display the locations of all hot spots detected in the previous 24 hours. 4 was the last major explosive event at El Chichón. Geochemistry of the volcano-hydrothermal system of El Chichon volcano, Chiapas, Mexico. 25 de Julio ##965, Col. Villas San Sebastián, C.P. The total eruption released about 1.1 cubic kilometers of material (dense rock equivalent), or roughly the same as St. Helens in 1980 and a new crater that was a kilometer across and 300 meters deep was formed (an acidic lake has since formed in the crater; see below). By noon the next day, a faint plume extended to about 25°N, 79°W, almost to Cuba, and lower altitude material, probably at only ~ 1.5 km, was drifting directly northward along the 95°W meridian. The eruption of El Chichón teaches us two very important lessons about monitoring volcanoes. Lidar operated by NASA at Hampton, Virginia (37.1°N, 76.3°W), began to detect layers at higher altitudes in early June. Geyser-like fumaroles emitted a gas phase only, and extensive mud cracks indicated an 85 cm drop in the level of the crater lake. Pyroclastic flows and surges obliterated nine villages, killing about 2,000 people, and ashfalls downwind posed socio–economic hardships for many thousands of inhabitants of the States of Chiapas and Tabasco. In Pichucalco (~ 20 km NE of the summit) incandescent tephra could be seen rising from the volcano and the ash cloud darkened the sky during the morning as though it were night. According to co-author Dmitri Rouwet, the rumbling beneath the crater often triggers small intracrater avalanches. Two portable seismometers were set up on the moat area and run for 80 hours. Persons in the SW U.S. observed phenomena that indicated the presence of stratospheric layers. Image from University of Hawaii.Image 5: The summit of El Chichón after the 1982 eruption. El Chichon last let go in spectacular style in 1982, destroying local communities and killing 2,000 people. The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design. This was the first historical eruption at the volcano. Reference. A late April-early May NASA flight collected stratospheric material at altitudes above 18 km over the western U.S. (including Alaska). Further Reference. Res., 23: 169-191. According to the authors, the landslide at the Grijalva river was probably the result of morphological instability after heavy rainfall, rather than associated with El Chichón behavior. Fumarolic activity was still predominant in the N part of the crater, consistent with 1993 observations. Table 3. Midway between Ostuacán and Francisco León, a river was boiling and flattened trees could be seen upslope. The lake's surface maintained the same elevation in May 1996 and January 1997, but during the April 1998 visit it was 1 m higher. These deposits were still hot in late May and were occasionally the source of small secondary explosions. El Chichón is a small, but powerful trachyandesitic tuff cone and lava dome complex that occupies an isolated part of the Chiapas region in SE México far from other Holocene volcanoes. After several weeks of local seismicity, explosions in late March and early April ejected a series of tephra columns, two of which penetrated well into the stratosphere. At Nicapa, on the NE flank, 7.5 cm of new ash was reported and a haze of SO2 was visible during the day. Cochemé, S. de la Cruz-Reyna, F. Medina, M. Mena, J. Havskov, S. Singh, UNAM, México; R. Canul D., Comisión Federal de Electricidad, Morelia; R. Tilling, USGS, Reston, VA; W. Duffield, USGS, Menlo Park, CA; W. Fuller, NASA Langley Research Center; T. DeFoor, MLO, Hawaii; M. Hirono, Kyushu Univ. NASA Earth Observatory images by Robert Simmon, using Landsat data from the USGS Global Visualization Viewer. This week–long eruptive outburst (VEI 5) produced world–wide volcanic gas clouds, extensive ash fall, and surges and pyroclastic flows. "Reports of strange noises and vibrations in the small town of Coapilla, 21 km S of El Chichón, caused some concern among the population, since rumors that an eruption should be expected on the 10th anniversary of the 1982 catastrophic eruptions were spreading across Chiapas state. 1/2, p. 1-191 (8 papers). Since the 15 February visit, temperatures of the crater lake (36-37°C) and fumaroles (96-98°C) had declined slightly, and the crater lake level was somewhat lower after several weeks of very little rainfall. The maps shown below have been scanned from the GVP map archives and include the volcano on this page. Since then, two boiling pools on the NW side of the crater had dried out, but three new large boiling pools 5-10 m in diameter had appeared 100 m to the S. The boiling pools gave off much more vapor than earlier. His passion in geology is volcanoes, and he has studied them all over the world. This activity is probably a result of the increased rainfall that reached 3,829 mm in the area January-October, compared to 3,219 mm measured during the same period last year. Government officials reported ashfall over an area of 24,000 km2 and crop damage of $55,000,000. Chemical characteristics of the crater lakes of Popocatepetl, El Chichon, and Nevado de Toluca volcanoes, Mexico. 4 was the last major explosive event at El Chichón. ; J. Rosen, Univ. The pumice, a porphyritic trachyandesite, has a whole-rock silica content of about 57.5%; silica content of the glass is about 61%. Many villagers who had fled the heavy tephra falls from the initial explosions 28-29 March, however, returned a few days later. Less than a week after geologists left the volcano major additional shrinkage of the lake was reported, and as of early May the lake occupied less than half the area it had covered 24 April. Between the first and second visits, on 19 April and 3 May, new crater-floor rockfall deposits had originated from the SE crater wall. ; R. Chuan, Brunswick Corp.; C. Wilson, Univ. In the talus rampart just above the crater floor, a small low-pressure fumarole that had registered a temperature of 446°C in January was no longer active in October. The heavy ashfall forced the closure of roads and the airports at Villahermosa and Tuxtla Gutiérrez (~ 70 km S of the volcano). Image courtesy of NASA. No previous eruptions of El Chichón are known in historic time. The high water mark of the lake coincided with the NASA flight in early November when it was 60 cm higher than in January. After the 2007 rainy season the lake volume decreased, coinciding with a change to pure vapor emission from the geyser-like spring since August 2007 (figure 10). Information Contacts: H. Sigurdsson, Univ. Interesting seismic activity occurred before, during, and following the recent eruptions of El Chichon Volcano in southeastern Mexico. On 13 January, two apparent phreatic explosions similar to one reported last year were heard and felt on the crater rim. A large area around this pool was covered by a crust of a white salt precipitated from the pool water. The Bulletin staff received numerous photographs of currently non-eruptive El Chichón from amateur photographer King Freeland; a few are included below. The current activity may continue and could include dome emplacement.". 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