The Second of Seven-Paricutin

The Second of Seven-Paricutin

Cullen Langley, Writer

The second of the seven natural wonders I’ll be talking about is also one most people haven’t heard of. This natural wonder is called Paricutin. Paricutin is the second closest natural wonder from us. Paricutin is located in the Mexican state of Michoacán, near the city of Uruapan and about 322 kilometers west of Mexico City. Paricutin is a cinder cone volcano and one of the youngest volcanoes in the world. A large tourism spot near the volcano is the church of San Juan Parangaricutiro which was half buried by the volcano. The volcano is around 9,200 feet or 2,800 meters tall. The volcano itself is dormant but the region around the volcano is still active. It’s last eruption was only sixty-eight years ago in 1952.

The 1952 eruption had the first occasion for scientists to document the entire life cycle of an eruption of this type of volcano. The eruption reached a height of 424 meters or 1,391 feet. 233 square miles were significantly damaged by the eruption and three people died. Two towns were completely evacuated and covered by lava and three more were affected heavily. The volcano erupted periodical between the years of 1943 and 1952. This is an unusually long period of eruption for volcanoes of this type. The volcano is part of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, which runs 560 miles or 900 kilometers across central Mexico from west to east. The crater of the volcano is 660 feet or 200 meters across and its possible to walk its perimeter. The crater is a popular tourism spot and its possible to hike there. While classified as an extinct volcano by scientist the bottom of the crater is still hot and emits steam when rain hits it. During the 9 years the volcano erupted many scientist came to learn from it. The two most important researchers who documented the volcanoes life cycle were  William F. Foshag of the Smithsonian Institution and Dr. Jenaro Gonzalez Reyna from the Mexican government. Their research on the life cycle of volcanoes that they got from Paricutin is still used my researchers today.

 

Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/place/Paricutin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Par%C3%ADcutin