Volcano Photos

Michoacan-Guanajuato Volcano, Mexico

Michoacan-Guanajuato Volcano, Mexico, Volcano photo

Michoacan-Guanajuato Volcano, Mexico

The widespread Michoacán-Guanajuato volcanic field contains over 1400 vents, including the historically active cinder cones of Parícutin and Jorullo, covering a 200 x 250 km wide area of Michoacán and Guanajuato states in west-central México.

Cinder cones are the predominant volcanic form, but small shield volcanoes, lava domes, maars and tuff rings (many in the Valle de Santiago area), and coneless lava flows are also present.

The shield volcanoes are mostly Pleistocene in age, and have morphologies similar to small Icelandic-type shield volcanoes, although the Michoacán-Guanajuato shields have higher slope angles and smaller basal diameters.

Jorullo, which was constructed in the 18th century, and Parícutin, which grew above a former cornfield during 1943-52, are the two best known of the roughly 1000 small volcanic centers scattered throughout the volcanic field.

At the end of the 9-year-long eruption of Paricutin, the new cinder cone rose 424 m above the surface of the original cornfield.

The 900-m-wide oval-shaped cone is elongated in a NW-SE direction and is truncated by a circular, 280-m-wide crater.

The western peak (right) is the highest point on the crater rim.

The NE-flank peak of Nuevo Juatita in the foreground, its top covered by white fumarolic sublimate minerals, was the main source of lava flows during the last five years of the eruption.

PHOTO SOURCE: Jim Luhr 1997, courtesy of the Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, used with permission.

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