Mexico, situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, hosts several active volcanoes that form part of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Notable among these are Popocatépetl, known for its frequent eruptions and towering presence near Mexico City, and Colima, one of North America’s most active volcanoes with its latest major eruption recorded in 2017. Additionally, Parícutin, a unique cinder cone volcano born in 1943, and Ceboruco, a stratovolcano showing signs of possible future activity, contribute to Mexico’s dynamic geological landscape. The fascinating yet perilous beauty of these active volcanoes symbolizes the untamed natural splendor of the country.
Mexico, a country renowned for its vibrant culture, food, and history, also harbors a fiery side – its active volcanoes. The country sits atop the Pacific Ring of Fire, one of the most geologically active regions on Earth. This area is characterized by frequent earthquakes and significant volcanic activity. The volcanoes in Mexico are part of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and include some of the most active in the world.
Popocatépetl, colloquially known as El Popo, is arguably the most famous active volcano in Mexico. Located in Central Mexico, it is situated between the states of Puebla and Morelos, just 70 kilometers southeast of Mexico City. Standing at a staggering 5,426 meters high, it is the second-highest peak in the country.
Popocatépetl is an active stratovolcano that has seen more than 20 significant eruptions since the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century. It has been particularly active in the past few decades. Its most recent major eruption was in 2000, prompting the evacuation of several nearby towns. Despite the risk it poses, Popocatépetl’s picturesque snow-covered peak has made it a symbol of Mexico’s natural beauty.
Colima, also known as Volcan de Fuego, is one of the most active volcanoes in North America. Situated on the western edge of Mexico in the state of Colima, the volcano is part of the Eje Volcánico Transversal mountain range. Colima stands at approximately 3,850 meters high.
Colima is known for its frequent eruptions, which have been recorded since the 16th century. Its most recent major eruption occurred in January 2017, which led to evacuations in nearby communities. These eruptions are typically characterized by pyroclastic flows and explosive ash plumes, which pose a significant risk to nearby populations.
Parícutin, a cinder cone volcano, may not be as tall or as frequently active as other volcanoes, but it holds a unique claim to fame. It is one of the few volcanoes whose birth has been witnessed by humans. Located in the Mexican state of Michoacán, Parícutin emerged from a cornfield in 1943 and grew quickly, reaching its final height of 424 meters within a year.
The initial eruption of Parícutin was characterized by ash and lava flows, which resulted in the destruction and abandonment of several local villages. The volcano remained active for nine years, until 1952. Although it has been dormant since, Parícutin is still considered an active volcano because of its relatively recent activity.
Located in the state of Nayarit, Ceboruco is a stratovolcano that last erupted in the 19th century. It stands at around 2,280 meters high. Its most notable eruption began in 1870 and continued for several years, producing significant lava flows and ashfall.
Although Ceboruco has been quiet for over a century, recent seismic activity and ground deformation detected in the area suggest it could erupt again in the future. Ongoing monitoring is critical to predict any potential eruptions and safeguard the surrounding communities.