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7 Ancient Wonders of the World
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7 Natural Wonders of the World

Paricutin Volcano
 Paricutín is part the Michoacán-Guanajuato Volcanic Field, which covers much of west central Mexico.
Michoacán, Mexico, North America
7 Natural Wonders of the World
 
 
 
 
Parícutin in 1994.[1]

 

Paricutin, Mexico;19.48 N 102.25 W;3,170 m elevation This slide shows the cinder cone soon after its birth in 1943 in a Mexican cornfield. During its brief nine-year lifespan (1943-1952), it built a 410-meter-high cone with extensive lava fields around the base of the cone. Most of the 2 km3 of eruptive products (ash, cinders, and lava) were produced in the first few years. Cinder cones such as this one are commonly formed by one eruption. Each subsequent eruption in the same area forms its own cinder cone.
Cinder cone in 1943[2]

Parícutin (or Volcán de Parícutin, also accented Paricutín by locals, to more closely match the pronunciation of the native Purepecha name Parhicutini, or spelled unaccented as Paricutin) is a cinder cone volcano in the Mexican state of Michoacán, close to a lava-covered village of the same name. It appears on many versions of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Paricutín is part the Michoacán-Guanajuato Volcanic Field, which covers much of west central Mexico.

The volcano began as a fissure in a cornfield owned by a P'urhépecha farmer, Dionisio Pulido on February 20, 1943. Pulido, his wife, and their son all witnessed the initial eruption of ash and stones first-hand as they plowed the field. The volcano grew quickly, reaching five stories tall in just a week, and it could be seen from afar in a month. Much of the volcano's growth occurred during its first year, while it was still in the explosive pyroclastic phase. Nearby villages Paricutín (after which the volcano was named) and San Juan Parangaricutiro were both buried in lava and ash; the residents relocated to vacant land nearby.

At the end of this phase, after roughly one year, the volcano had grown 336 meters (1,102.36 ft) tall. For the next eight years the volcano would continue erupting, although this was dominated by relatively quiet eruptions of lava that would scorch the surrounding 25 km² (9.65 mi²) of land. The volcano's activity would slowly decline during this period until the last six months of the eruption, during which violent and explosive activity was frequent. In 1952 the eruption ended and Parícutin went quiet, attaining a final height of 424 meters (1,391.08 ft) above the cornfield from which it was born. The volcano has been quiet since. Like most cinder cones, Parícutin is a monogenetic volcano, which means that it will never erupt again. Any new eruptions in a monogenetic volcanic field erupt in a new random location.

Volcanism is a common part of the Mexican landscape. Parícutin is merely the youngest of more than 1,400 volcanic vents that exist in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and North America. The volcano is unique in the fact that its formation was witnessed from its very conception. Three people died as a result of lightning strikes caused by the eruptions, but no deaths were attributed to the lava or asphyxiation.

Shots of the volcano during its active phase were included in 20th Century Fox's film Captain from Castile, released in 1947.[3]

Volcanoes: Formation of Paricutin

 

britannica
May 22, 2009

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References
 
1. Wikimedia Commons-Paricutin Volcano- Creative Commons Attribution License-retrieved 7/`19/2009
2. Wikimedia Commons-Paricutin Volcano- Creative Commons Attribution License-retrieved 7/`19/2009
3. Wikipedia-Paricutin Volcano-retrieved 7/`19/2009
 
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