El Chichón volcano (17.36 N, 93.23 W; 1100 masl) is located in the State of Chiapas, southern Mexico. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. Information Contacts: W. Fuller, NASA; M. Hirono, Kyushu Univ., Japan; H. Lamb, Univ. El Chichón volcano located in southern Mexico, represents the active volcano of the Chiapanecan Volcanic Arc (CVA). The crater lake, which had recovered to November 1982 levels by November 1990, was turquoise-blue and had at least two large zones of intense surface effervescence as described by Casadevall and others (1984). No significant seismic activity has been recorded at El Chichón in recent months although some tectonic seismicity has occurred SE of the volcano. Scattering was about equal at all wavelengths except near-infrared, where the cloud was more transparent. Crater Lake and post-eruption hydrothermal activity, El Chichon volcano, Mexico. Portable seismometers on the crater rim 21-23 April detected only two small events in 26 hours. Fumarolic activity; lake level drops compared to 1993. People living near the volcano reported felt earthquakes several months before the eruption. Fumarolic activity was still predominant in the N part of the crater, consistent with 1993 observations. El Chichón volcano consists of a 2-km wide Somma crater compound cone 0.2 Ma old with peripheral domes with a central crater reactivated several times during the Holocene. Geology. Information Contacts: Dmitri Rouwet, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV-Palermo), Sezione di Palermo, Via Ugo La Malfa 153, CAP 90146, Palermo, Italy (URL: http://www.pa.ingv.it/); Agnes Mazot, Loic Peiffer, and Yuri Taran, Instituto de Geofisica, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Ciudad Universitaria, Circuito Exterior s/n, Col. Copilco, Del. On 4 November 2007, at midnight, a landslide along the Grijalva river buried a settlement (Juan de Grijalva, Municipio de Ostuacán, Chiapas) located ~ 25 km WSW from the 1982 crater. From Tucson, Arizona on 14 May, Aden and Marjorie Meinel observed a roughly 40 X 400 km band of smoky clouds pass overhead during the afternoon, but at sunset these clouds appeared to be at an altitude of only 8 km. Holocene eruptive activity of El Chichon volcano, Chiapas, Mexico. of Wyoming; R. Chuan, Brusnwick Corp.; M. Matson, NOAA/NESS; A. Table 3. There is a shallow acidic lake in the caldera, fed entirely by ground water. The drop in lake level prevented temperature and pH measurements at the same sites sampled last June. A magnitude 3 earthquake centered 20 km NE of El Chichón occurred 28 September at 0956 GMT. Accurate temperatures cannot be assigned to diffuse plumes because data from the plume are mixed with data from the underlying terrain. Photos of crater lake and volcanic morphology. Ground observers reported that the comparatively minor activity lasted about 3 hours and that no incandescent tephra was ejected. ; W. Fuller, NASA Langley Research Center; Y. Iwasaka, Nagoya Univ. Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Optical depths of the cloud as measured with a sun photometer reached 0.3-0.4, increasing southward. Surface and vault microbarographs and a KS36000 (SRO-type) seismograph operated by Teledyne Geotech near Dallas, Texas (1,797 km from El Chichón) received 22 minutes of infrasonic signals generated by explosive activity. El Chichón volcano in southern Mexico forms a broad symmetrical cone with a diameter of 10 km at itsbase and is capped by a 600 m wide crater containing a 80 m high andesitic lava dome. According to co-author Dmitri Rouwet, the rumbling beneath the crater often triggers small intracrater avalanches. Seismic activity and landsliding were at a very low level. Since the eruptions of 1982, observations at El Chichón have indicated decreasing magmatic fluids. 1)—was a heavily vegetated, little-studied volcano in the State of Chiapas. Some of the streams on the outer flanks of the volcano had dried up for the first time in 15 years, and bubble activity was observed in the entire lake. There was no evidence of any eruptive activity since at least 3 November, when excellent NASA photography was obtained. 25 de Julio ##965, Col. Villas San Sebastián, C.P. El Chichon also known as El Chichonal. Yuri Taran from the Institute of Geophysics, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), has been studying El Chichón volcano and its hydrothermal activity for almost 10 years (see Capaccioni and others, 2004). Although an acrid smell was noted at active hydrothermal areas, H2S concentrations must have decreased below the 2-6 ppm that forced geologists to take special precautions in 1983 and to leave the crater in 1984. "Violent eruptions of the stratovolcano El Chichón destroyed its summit dome and formed a 1-km-wide crater. Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, Eruptions, Earthquakes & Emissions Application, Department of Mineral Sciences collections, Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO), Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE), Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA), Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA), The IAVCEI Commission on Volcanic Hazards and Risk has a, Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity (. An attempt will be made to overfly the crater with a COSPEC, to bring portable seismometers into the crater and somma flanks, and to make bathymetric measurements. were collecting rock samples on the rim of the outer crater, a small earthquake was detected by the Chapultenango station. The crater lake, which in the last few years had shrunk to a small pond, had recovered to the level of November 1982, and hydrothermal activity was similar to that observed in January 1983 (as described in Casadevall and others, 1984). A thin plume drifted E about 120 km before dissipating. This website was created as part of an assignment for a volcanology class at the University of Idaho/Washington State University in order to give an overview of El Chichón Volcano in Chiapas, México. The authors inferred that future El Chichón volcanism might take the form of intracrater dome growth. Instruments at McMurdo, Antarctica, 11,865 km from El Chichón, recorded about 2 hours of infrasonic signals. El Chichón volcano and its hydrothermal manifestations. Information Contacts: S. de la Cruz-Reyna, UNAM. Figure 8 shows the lake in 2005, the smallest volume at this crater lake yet observed. Geotherm. "The water sample (taken about 1 hour before the seismic event) shows a composition similar to other recent samples. It has been estimated to cover the earth from S of the equator to as far N as Japan between 21 and 33 km altitude and to average 9.6 km thick. No new explosions were reported from El Chichón through early January and seismicity remained at very low levels. of Rhode Island. Field studies and eyewitness accounts indicate that the initial activity (28-29 March) was phreatomagmatic, and produced a Plinian column over 15 km high and tephra deposits extending more than 200 km downwind. St. Helens during similar sampling in February. These springs alternate between periods of high- and low-water discharge feeding the lake. . of Maryland; T. Casadevall, USGS. The eruptions created a new 1-km-wide, 300-m-deep crater that now contains an acidic crater lake. Livingston, W., and Lockwood, G.W., 1983, Volcanic ash over Arizona in the spring of 1982: Astronomical Observations: Science, v. 220, p. 300-302. The photograph in figure 5 was taken in April 2004 and shows the warm, bright green, acidic crater lake. At that time, an impulsive shake, accompanied by an explosion-like sound, was reported by the geologists at the crater rim. Res., 83: 173-196. The pumice, a porphyritic trachyandesite, has a whole-rock silica content of about 57.5%; silica content of the glass is about 61%. Slight variations in lake water temperature and migration of thermal fields on the crater floor were noticed during an April 1998 visit. [Details of the continuing dispersal of the stratospheric cloud are reported in Atmospheric Effects.]. The level of the lake, normally dependent on rainfall, had lowered in the previous three months despite an increase in precipitation. 86020 Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico; Wendell A. Duffield, USGS, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA. Little new vegetation could be seen on the volcano and 1ahar deposits were evident in stream valleys. Near Nicapa (~ 7 km NE of the summit), coconut trees totally denuded by the 4 April explosion showed new leafy growth. Duffield, Wendell A., 2001, At least Noah had some warning: Eos, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 82, p.305, 309. However, NaCl crystals were a significant component and salt has apparently never before been found in significant quantities in a volcanic cloud. Variations observed in the size of the fumarole plumes were thought to be caused by changes in temperature and humidity. Blackbody temperatures of the tops of dense eruption columns are determined from GOES East geostationary weather satellite digital data, and are compared to temperature/altitude profiles from radiosondes launched from Veracruz, México (19.15°N, 96.12°W) at 0600 and 1800 daily. Before the 1982 eruption, the volcano was heavily forested, with a shallow crater, 1,900 X 900 m, elongate NNW-SSE. Res., 23: 169-191. 03/1982 (SEAN 07:03) Large explosions; voluminous ashfalls; many deaths; first eruption in historic time, 04/1982 (SEAN 07:04) 4 April stratospheric cloud circles the globe; minor explosive and seismic activity continues, 05/1982 (SEAN 07:05) Fatal flood after natural pyroclastic dam fails; stratospheric cloud effects; eruption summary, 06/1982 (SEAN 07:06) No new explosions; dense stratospheric cloud over N hemisphere, 07/1982 (SEAN 07:07) Stratospheric cloud continues N dispersal, 08/1982 (SEAN 07:08) Bulk of stratospheric cloud remains at low N latitudes, 09/1982 (SEAN 07:09) Small phreatic explosion; little northward movement of stratospheric cloud, 10/1982 (SEAN 07:10) High H2S and NO in plume; slow diffusion of stratospheric cloud, 11/1982 (SEAN 07:11) Dense aerosol cloud spreads slowly northward, 12/1982 (SEAN 07:12) No new activity; aerosol cloud continues dispersal, 01/1983 (SEAN 08:01) Strong H2S emissions but no new explosions, 02/1983 (SEAN 08:02) Vapor emission but no eruptive activity, 04/1983 (SEAN 08:04) Crater lake recedes rapidly, 10/1983 (SEAN 08:10) Fumarole and crater lake temperatures decline, 02/1984 (SEAN 09:02) No new eruptions; crater lake conditions unchanged, 03/1984 (SEAN 09:03) Plumes on satellite images not caused by eruptions, 09/1986 (SEAN 11:09) Magnitude 3 earthquake nearby but crater unchanged, 11/1990 (BGVN 15:11) Thermal activity continues; no seismicity or dome growth, 06/1992 (BGVN 17:06) Frequent rockfalls and continued thermal activity, 09/1992 (BGVN 17:09) Occasional seismicity; lake less acidic, 02/1993 (BGVN 18:02) Fumarolic activity continues; lake chemistry unchanged, 05/1995 (BGVN 20:05) Fumarolic activity; lake level drops compared to 1993, 08/1998 (BGVN 23:08) Changes in hydrothermal activity noticed in April, 09/2000 (BGVN 25:09) Warming and solute concentration rises detected during December 1999 visit, 10/2001 (BGVN 26:10) Crater lake water level lower in September 2001 despite increased rainfall, 05/2004 (BGVN 29:05) Photos of crater lake and volcanic morphology, 12/2007 (BGVN 32:12) Stable with tremor; hot spring; significant crater-lake-volume variations, Large explosions; voluminous ashfalls; many deaths; first eruption in historic time. Pinatubo erupted again in late August 1992, killing more than 72 people. Tremor, gas fluxes, inferences, and ongoing monitoring. There was a large increase in the volume of radon emitted after the initial explosion 28 March, but it has been declining since then. Prior to 1982, this relatively unknown volcano was heavily forested and of no greater height than adjacent nonvolcanic peaks. In 1987, Freeland and others went swimming in the crater lake. Crater lake. 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 pH values of 1.8 and 1.9 measured in 1983 and 1984, respectively, were similar to the April 1992 value. Atmospheric data indicated continued dispersal of the dense part of the stratospheric aerosol cloud ejected by El Chichón's 4 April eruption. A helicopter flight over the village during the first week in April revealed no signs of life. No. Pilots overflying the volcano were asked to report further changes in the lake, but no reports had been received as of 11 May. Near the volcano, three separate layers were evident, ejected by explosions 28 March, 3 April (at 2000), and 4 April. Reappraisal of the 1982 eruptions of El Chichon volcano, Chiapas, Mexico: new data from proximal deposits. The temperature of the crater lake had decreased to 42°C from 52-58°C during the previous descent in late January. Armienta M.A., De la Cruz-Reyna S., and Macías, J.L., 2000, Chemical characteristics of the crater lakes of Popocatepetl, El Chichón, and Nevado de Toluca volcanoes, Mexico: JVGR 97, p. 105-125. Boron concentrations, at 66 mg/L, were also the highest recorded values since January 1983. Saline, near-neutral pH water pours from a boiling geyser-like spring on the lake's N coast. More than ten large explosive eruptions have occurred since the mid-Holocene. Seismographs recorded the draining of the lake over a period of about 1 hour, sending a flood of hot water downstream. A dense veil covered the sky 15-16 May. A small rockfall avalanche on the SE inner wall of the crater followed the first explosion. Trees that were charred but not totally blown down >5 km away have begun to grow again from their stumps. J. Volcanol. A series of three explosions of increasing size occurred 3-4 April, the last of which, at 0522 on 4 April, was the largest of the eruption and produced a major stratospheric cloud. Taran noted that during the period of his study the lake was smallest in November 1998 (at the end of the rainy season), and it was very shallow, ~1.3 m deep. At College, Alaska (6,634 km from the volcano), about an hour of acoustic signals were received from both the 28 March and 4 April explosions. References. A team of scientists from UNAM and elsewhere visited El Chichón's crater lake on 15 February. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Thermal activity continues; no seismicity or dome growth, "Recent reports of increased activity at El Chichón motivated a visit to the region. The El Chichon volcano is located in Mexico near a state named Chiapas. Lava domes 1150 m / 3,773 ft Southern Mexico, 17.36°N / -93.23°W Eruption list: 1982 (Plininan eruption on 28 March), 1850(?) Mexican and American geologists flew over the volcano on 4 November (during the NASA mission to observe the stratospheric cloud ejected 4 April). UNAM geologists visited El Chichón 20-24 April. Satellite images showed renewed explosive activity early 3 April. Tilling R I, Rubin M, Sigurdsson H, Carey S, Duffield W A, Rose W I, 1984. J. Volcanol. Study of pre-1982 deposits indicates that El Chichón has developed by several cycles of pyroclastic eruptions, with or without a subsequent growth of domes, with the last pre-1982 pyroclastic eruption about 130 years ago. 2/3, p. 127-141. Smaller explosions, calculated to have begun at 0312, generated acoustic waves and a single gravity wave that were received near Dallas for 10 minutes. Information Contacts: Jose Luis Macias, Juan Manuel Espindola, Zenon Jimenez, and Yuri Taran, Instituto de Geofisica, UNAM. Introduction In 1982 El Chichón volcano had a violent plinian eruption that devastated an area of approximately 153 km2 surrounding the volcano (Sigurdsson et al., 1984). ?n, active during Pleistocene and Holocene time, is located in rugged, densely forested terrain in northcentral Chiapas, Me??xico. It is a small, but powerful andesitic tuff cone and lava dome complex that occupies an isolated part of the Chiapas region far from other Holocene volcanoes. No large explosions have occurred at El Chichón since 4 April. Some residents had returned to Nicapa and cattle were grazing in the area. It lies some 70 km to the NNW of Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of the State of Chiapas, and 77 km to the SSW of Villahermosa, capital of the neighboring State of Tabasco. An infrared image 3.5 hours later showed a temperature of -76°C at the top of the eruption cloud, corresponding to an altitude of 16.8 km, identical to the altitude measured from the 28 March plume. Information Contacts: J. Further Reference. The activity and appearance of El Chichón during 17-27 May resembled that observed in 1992 and 1993. Carey, S.N. Instead, rainwater is thought to infiltrate into the crater floor and then discharge into the lake through the boiling springs. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports. gests that the tropical source was located north of the equator. Since last visited in February 1993, several rockfalls had occurred from the inner crater wall. This apparent increase in the level of the crater lake was the only significant change in El Chichón's morphology. Armienta M A, De la Cruz-Reyna S, Macias J L, 2000. On 8 August at 0922, while two of the geologists (J.L.M. Volume and composition of tephra. The emissions were H2S-rich, apparently partly because the lake (temperature 52°C, pH 0.56) and the ground water were selectively extracting SO2. The Eruptions. Geotherm. King Freeland, a Villahermosa resident since 1981, has been taking photographs of El Chichón since 1985 and going into the inner crater yearly (figure 4). Applied Geochem, 10: 215-227. The total acoustic energy of this activity was significantly greater than that produced by the early morning explosions, and the eruption plume was denser and probably rose somewhat higher. Activity during 5-11 April 1982. The major stratospheric cloud remained dense over lower northern latitudes. Answer. El Chicho? Distal sections consist of three airfall layers whereas proximal sections include pyroclastic flows. Information Contacts: C. Lomnitz, S. de la Cruz-Reyna, F. Medina, UNAM, México; M. Krafft, Cernay; D. Haller, C. Kadin, M. Matson, NOAA/NESS; A. Krueger, NOAA/NWS; F. Mauk, Teledyne Geotech; C. Wilson, Univ. Boiling springs.The changes in lake volume stem largely from variable discharges at a boiling spring, rather than merely reflecting direct input from rainfall and evaporation. "The crater was geologically mapped and rocks and gases were sampled extensively. Res., 175: 444-458. Casadevall, T., de la Cruz-Reyna, S., Rose, W., Bagley, S., Finnegan, D., and Zoller, W., 1984, Crater lake and post-eruption hydrothermal activity, El Chichón Volcano, México: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 23, p. 169-191. It crossed nobody’s mind that it might be waking up. From Tucson, Arizona, Aden and Marjorie Meinel observed a primary scattering layer at 13.2 km and a weaker layer at 20 km around sunset on 30 April. Temperatures measured by a thermocouple at 40 cm depth on 8 April averaged 360°C, and were as high as 402°C. The salinity was greater when the lake had higher volume. The main body of the layer appeared to pass NW of Tucson during the evening of 7 May. Tilling, R., 1974, Rockfall activity in pit craters, Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii: Proceedings of the Symposium on "Andean and Antarctic Volcanology Problems", IAVCEI, Santiago, Chile, September 1974, p. 518-528. The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Information Contacts: Yuri Taran, Jose Luis Macias, Juan Manuel Espindola, and Nicholas Varley, Instituto de Geofisica, UNAM, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacan 04510, México D.F., México. of California, Berkeley; M. Matson, D. Haller, C. Kadin, NOAA/NESS; B. Mendonça, NOAA/ERL; K. Coulson, MLO, HI; M. Hirono, Kyushu Univ. (ed. Other observations. Several other curviplanar slump fractures encompass apparent areas of several hundred square meters on the crater wall. Information Contacts: José Luís Macías V. and Michael Sheridan, State Univ of New York, Buffalo, NY; Jean-Christophe Komorowski and Claus Siebe, Instituto de Geofísica, UNAM; Robert Tilling, USGS. El Chichón volcano eruptions. Changes in hydrothermal activity noticed in April. Eruptive History. This may offer potential for future monitoring. Such processes can occur very rapidly, as recently shown by the dome growth at Kelud, Indonesia, in November 2007. Heavy rains have washed out most of the roads near the volcano and have made field work extremely difficult. The two crater lakes observed in September had combined into a single bright yellow-green lake that covered more than 80% of the crater floor. 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