Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 55, Issue 8, pp 571–587 | Cite as

Late Pleistocene to Holocene eruptive activity of Pico de Orizaba, Eastern Mexico

  • Armann Hoskuldsson
  • Claude Robin


The Late Pleistocene to Holocene eruptive history of Pico de Orizaba can be divided into 11 eurptive episodes. Each eruptive episode lasted several hundred years, the longest recorded being about 1000 years (the Xilomich episode). Intervals of dormancy range from millenia during the late Pleistocene to about 500 years, the shortest interval recorded in the Holocene. This difference could reflect either changes in the volcano's activity or that the older stratigraphic record is less complete than the younger. Eruptive mechanisms during the late Pleistocene were characterized by dome extrusions, lava flows and ash-and-scoria-flow generating eruptive columns. However, in Holocene time plinian activity became increasingly important. The increase in dacitic plinian eruptions over time is related to increased volumes of dacitic magma beneath Pico de Orizaba. We suggest that the magma reservoir under Pico de Orizaba is stratified. The last eruptive episode, which lasted from about 690 years bp until ad 1687, was initiated by a dacitic plinian eruption and was followed by effusive lava-forming eruptions. For the last 5,000 years the activity of the volcano has been gradually evolving towards such a trend, underlining the increasing importance of dacitic magma and stratification of the magma reservoir. Independent observations of Pico de Orizaba's glacier early this century indicate that some increase in volcanic activity occurred between 1906 and 1947, and that it was probably fumarolic.

Key words

Volcanism Mexico Holocene History Pico Citlaltepetl Volcano 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Armann Hoskuldsson
    • 1
  • Claude Robin
    • 1
  1. 1.University Blaise Pascal, C.R.V., and C.N.R.S., 5 rueClermont FerrandFrance

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