There’s a treat (at least for volcanophiles) at the end of this brief post.
First, in yesterday’s post I linked to Erik Klemetti’s recent post on Popocatépetl in which he noted that the uptick in explosiveness might be due to either a lot of water reaching hot rock or the volcano clearing out its throat some.
Yesterday, it seemed like “throat clearing” might explain it, but on the few times I could check the webcams today (had a busy work day), Don Goyo was sending up plumes of what CENAPRED says is water vapor and gas, with only small amounts of ash.
There is some ash in there, too, as the atmospheric haziness shows.
Why can’t the Colossus of Puebla make up its mind?
As I understand it, Popocatépetl overall these days is usually in a pretty stable balance between input of blobs of magma (rather than a stream) rising from a chamber that’s well below sea level and degassing from its hydrothermal system to relieve pressure. That’s great news for the 4 million-odd people who live nearby. No one wants to see it harken back to its more rambunctious days in the very distant past.
It’s too late in the day, unfortunately, to have any energy left to bring in links to back this up, but I can if you want to ask about more info in the comments.
Anyway, that’s a very general background for why this volcano alternates between exhalations of mostly steam/gas and small to moderate exhalations of ash.
Gimme my treat!
Well, the image below is gray scale because it’s night and so is probably only something hardcore volcanophiles would love.
But there’s a full moon coming in two days and look what the Tlamacas cam showed a little while ago – moonbeams!