Popocatépetl

Volcano number:341090
Region:Mexico and Central America
Country:Mexico
Geodetic measurements?Yes
Deformation observation?No
Measurement method(s):InSAR, GPS - continuous, Tiltmeter, EDM
Duration of observation:1994-present (tilt), 1996-present (GPS), 1996-present (EDM), 2002-2006 (Envisat InSAR), 2007-2010 (ALOS InSAR)
Inferred cause of deformation:
Characteristics of deformation:

Volcán Popocatépetl has been erupting semi-continuously since 1994. During this period CENAPRED (Centro Nacional de Prevención de Desastres) has operated a deformation monitoring network consisting of 4 tiltmeters, 7 GPS stations and periodic EDM measurements. 

There have been no observations of long term deformation of Popocatépetl above background tectonic rates in the GPS network, although there may be some small short period transient signals (Cabrol-Cano et al., 2008). This has been supported by InSAR studies, which have also failed to detect deformation at a rate greater than 0.5 cm/year (Pinel et al., 2011, Chaussard et al., 2013).

The conclusion from published deformation studies is that the current eruptive phase of Popocatépetl is supplied by a network of deep rooted conduits rather than a shallow magma chamber. The volcano is thought to behave as a semi-open system, such that significant pressure build up does not occur (Cabrol-Cano et al., 2008).

Reference:E. Cabral-Cano, F. Correa-Mora, C. Meertens
Deformation of Popocatépetl volcano using GPS: regional geodynamic context and constraints on its magma chamber
J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., 170 (2008), pp. 24–34
Reference:V. Pinel, A. Hooper, S. De la Cruz-Reyna, G. Reyes-Davila, M.P. Doin
The challenging retrieval of displacement field from InSAR data for andesitic stratovolvanoes: case study of Popocatepetl and Colima Volcano, Mexico
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 200 (1–2) (2011), pp. 49–61
Reference:Chaussard, E., F. Amelung, and Y. Aoki (2013), Characterization of open and closed volcanic systems in Indonesia and Mexico using InSAR time series, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 118, 3957–3969, doi:10.1002/jgrb.50288.
Location:-98.622, 19.023

Aerial view of Popocatépetl from the northeast. Photo: CENAPRED, 1994.

Mean satellite line-of-sight velocity for Popocatépetl between 2002 and 2006. a) Envisat descending track 255. b) Envisat ascending track 148. Source: Pinel et al., 2011