Paricutin


PARICUTIN
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Paricutin

When Dinonisio Pulido woke up on the morning of February 20th in 1943, he probably had no idea what kind of adventurous experiences life would have for him that day. Dinonisio lived in a small village named Paricutin, about 200 miles away from Mexico City, Mexico, and he made an honest living as a cornfield farmer. Right in his own backyard that day, Dinonisio witnessed the birth of a real volcano that would eventually be named Paricutin. For Pulido and the people that were with him that day, they had no clue that they would go in the history books as being the first humans to experience a volcano birth in the twentieth century.

It had started as an ordinary day, and Dinonsio was out in his fields minding his corn. Out of nowhere, he noticed odd occurrences. Initially it started out as the ground trembling, and he could see the trees shaking as well. Thunder and lightening were not far behind, and Dinonsio thought a hurricane, tornado, or even an earthquake was about to strike devastation on his livelihood. Then out of nowhere, a crack occurred in the center of the cornfield, and Dinonisio remembers seeing smoke and something that looked like grayish ashes and fine dust rising out of the crack in the center of his field. Suddenly he smelled sulphur and in moments, the ground that he was standing on had risen 2 or 2 meters and by the time the volcano was finished, lava had covered a 10 square miles radius.

Miraculously, no one was killed from the eruption itself. However three deaths were incurred that day from lightening strikes. One year later, the volcano was still going, and in fact, the flow of lava looked as if it was even speeding up. Little did the people of Paricutin know what lay ahead for them.

The birth of Paricutin lasted a total of nine years, between 1943 and 1952. In total, 1.3 kilometers of lava had covered the entire city of Paricutin. Paricutin is the most current volcano that exists in the Western Hemisphere. It currently has dimensions of 2,808 meters above sea level, an equivalence of 9,213 feet. It encompasses 410 meters above its base, and its scoria cone measures 424 meters wide. The bombs from the volcano had blown as far as 1,000 feet.

In 1952, the Paricutin volcanic activity came to a halt and it has rested quietly since with no further eruptions. By the time Paricutin had stopped growing, 290 feet were the dimensions of the cinder cone, and approximately .7 kilos of tephra had accumulated. When its eruption was complete, 100 square miles were covered in ashes.

Due to its duration, dimensions, and massive lava and ash coverage, Paricutin is one of today’s Seven Wonders of the world and people come from all over the world to view Paricutin, and what is left of the devastation it caused.

Interesting Facts About Paricutin:

  • At its worst recorded activity, the lava from Paricutin rose approximately fifty feet below the rim of the volcano crater.

  • Paricutin now stands 1,345 feet above ground, and 9,210 feet above sea level.

  • The hardened lava from Paricutin covers an area of 10 square miles, and the volcano sand (fragments of volcano material) covers an area of 20 square miles.

  • The eruption of Paricutin is referred to as a Strombolian eruption, meaning that basaltic lava simply gushed out, and exploded out of one single vent in the crater, rather than several as is the case with some volcanoes.

  • The city of Paricutin is located 200 miles West of Mexico City. Ashes from Paricutin reached distances as far away as Mexico City.

  • Paricutin is part of what geologists refer to as the “Volcanic Axis”. This is a geological area that covers a 700 mile line of volcanoes extending through the South of Mexico in an East-West directional pattern.

  • There are actually several hundred cones of volcanoes in the Mexico area, but Paricutin is the only one known to have erupted


Paricutin


Paricutin

Paricutin

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