Facts about Paricutin volcano
Volcano in a cornfield
On February 20, 1943, a Mexican farmer Dioniso Pulido observed a small crack in his cornfield, and the ground nearby shook and became hot. About a month later, columns of volcanic ash began to emerge from the crack and a volcanic cone began to rise before the eyes of the villagers of Paricutin.
1Paricutin volcano is located in central Mexico, in the state of Michoacán.
Michoacán is a state in the southwestern part of the country. Its name, given by the Aztecs, means "place of those who have fish". Two mountain ranges cross the state: the Sierra del Sur and the Trans-Mexican Volcanic. There are more than 80 volcanoes (including Pico de Tancítaro, Patamban and Paricutin) and Mexico's largest inland body of water, Lake Chapala.
2Paricutin is the youngest volcano in the area - it was formed in 1943.
The formation of the volcano was observed both by volcanologists and by the natives of the Purépecha ( Tarascans ) tribe.
3The process of volcano formation began on February 20, 1943, with the formation of a fissure in a cornfield.
The formation and opening of the fissure was preceded by mysterious thunders heard by the inhabitants of the small village of Paricutin several weeks earlier.
4During the first day of activity of the newly formed volcano has grown by 50 meters.
After a week, its height has doubled.
5The volcano's formation process was observed by residents of nearby villages leading everyday lives during the event.
The volcano's activity increased after a month when it began to spew volcanic ash into the air and covered the roofs of nearby settlements of Paricutin and San Juan Parangaricutiro.
6The evacuation of villages began as early as July 1943, when lava flows approached their borders.
7The first year of the volcano's formation was the most intense period of its activity. At that time, a cone 275 m high was formed.
The volcano ejected mainly pyroclastic (ejecta) material. Ejecta, or the crumbly products of a volcanic eruption, are formed by spraying liquid lava, solidifying it in the air, and pulverizing rocks crushed by the explosion.
8Paricutin is a volcano of the cinder cone type.
Cinder cones are steep, cone-shaped volcanoes that form around a volcanic vent. They are often characterized by a symmetrical structure. Paricutin volcano is no different in this respect.
9Throughout the eight years of the volcano's activity, there were only quiet outpourings of lava.
More violent eruptions occurred only in the last six months of Paricutin activity.
10Paricutin's activity finally ceased in 1952.