Serdan-Oriental

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 19.27°N
  • 97.47°W

  • 3485 m
    11431 ft

  • 341092
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Serdan-Oriental.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Serdan-Oriental.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Serdan-Oriental.

The Serdán-Oriental is a broad closed basin at the eastern end of the Mexican Altiplano dotted with rhyolitic lava domes, tuff cones, tuff rings, lava flows, and scoria cones of late-Pleistocene to Holocene age. The basin, filled by extensive large lakes during the Pleistocene, is bounded by the Cofre de Perote-Orizaba range on the east and Los Humeros caldera to the north. The most prominent features of the Serdán-Oriental volcanic field are the twin Las Derrumbadas lava domes, surrounded by an apron of debris-avalanche deposits, and the sharp-peaked Cerro Pizarro lava dome at the northern end of the basin. Several of the tuff rings, such as Laguna Atexcac and Laguna Alchichica, are filled with scenic lakes. A major explosive eruption from a vent inferred to be buried within the basin produced the Quetzalapa plinian pumice-fall deposit roughly 20,000 years ago.

The Global Volcanism Program is not aware of any Holocene eruptions from Serdan-Oriental. If this volcano has had large eruptions (VEI >= 4) prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found on the Serdan-Oriental page in the LaMEVE (Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions) database, a part of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.


Cones

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Ahuatepec, Cerro Cone 2820 m 19° 3' 0" N 97° 25' 0" W
Alchichica Tuff ring 2500 m 19° 25' 0" N 97° 24' 0" W
Brujo, Cerro el
    Malpais, Cerro
Shield volcano 2900 m 19° 8' 0" N 97° 35' 0" W
Tepexitl, Cerro
    Jalapasquillo
Tuff ring 2600 m 19° 13' 30" N 97° 25' 30" W
Xalapasco, Cerro Tuff cone 2720 m 19° 23' 0" N 97° 30' 0" W

Craters

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Aljojuca Maar 2520 m 19° 5' 30" N 97° 32' 0" W
Atexcac, Laguna
    San Luis Atexcac
Maar 2600 m 19° 20' 0" N 97° 27' 0" W
Ocotenco Maar 2660 m 19° 5' 0" N 97° 28' 0" W
Preciosa, La Maar 2380 m 19° 22' 0" N 97° 23' 0" W
Quechulac Maar 2360 m 19° 22' 30" N 97° 21' 0" W
Tecuitlapa Maar 2460 m 19° 7' 30" N 97° 32' 30" W
Xalapasquillo
    Jalapasquillo
Maar 2380 m 19° 13' 0" N 97° 33' 0" W

Domes

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Derrumbadas, Las Dome 3485 m 19° 16' 0" N 97° 27' 0" W
Pinto, Cerro Dome 3100 m 19° 22' 0" N 97° 30' 0" W
Pizarro, Cerro Dome 3100 m 19° 30' 30" N 97° 26' 0" W
The NW-most dome of the twin Las Derrumbadas lava domes, seen here from the NE along the highway to Perote, displays evidence of extensive hydrothermal alteration. Las Derrumbadas domes remain fumarolically active. The extensively gullied hillside at the left-center is the outer flank of the San Luis Atexcac tuff ring, whose crater contains a scenic lake.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
The most prominent features of the Serdán-Oriental volcanic field are the twin Las Derrumbadas lava domes. The NW (left) and SE (right) domes are of similar height and rhyolitic lithology and rise about 1000 m above their bases. The Serdán-Oriental is a broad closed basin at the eastern end of the Mexican altiplano dotted with rhyolitic lava domes, tuff cones, tuff rings, lava flows, and scoria cones of late-Pleistocene to Holocene age. Several of the tuff rings, such as Laguna Atexcac and Laguna Alchichica, are filled with scenic lakes.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
The NW-most of the twin Las Derrumbadas lava domes is surrounded by hummocky debris-avalanche deposits such as those in the foreground that were produced by repeated collapse of the domes. The hummocks contain broad mixtures of rocks, including pyroclastic-surge deposits, Cretaceous limestones, lacustrine sediments, and banded obsidians. These are thought to have originated from a former tuff ring that surrounded the lava domes, but was removed by the slope failures.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
Twin-peaked Cerro Pinto on the NE horizon is a rhyolitic lava dome that rises above the rim of a tuff cone, inside which the dome was emplaced. Cerro Pinto is one of several large lava domes within the enclosed Serdán-Oriental basin. The hills in the foreground are hummocks of a debris-avalanche deposit produced by collapse of Las Derrumbadas lava domes.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
Cerro Pinto lava dome rises to the NW as viewed from the rim of Laguna San Luis Atexcac maar, just south of Highway 140. The 3100-m-high rhyolitic dome was constructed within a tuff cone with a crater about 2 km wide. The crater overlaps with that of the Cerro Xalapaxco tuff cone to the north.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1998 (Smithsonian Institution).
A roadcut through the eastern rim of the Cerro Xalapaxco tuff cone exposes spectacular pyroclastic-surge deposits. The rhyolitic tuff cone displays examples of "dry" surge deposits. The road provides access to a quarry where perlite (hydrated obsidian) is mined. Cofre de Perote volcano rises on the distant horizon across the Serdán-Oriental basin.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1998 (Smithsonian Institution).
Scenic Laguna Alchichicha maar is filled by a broad lake that is the largest of the Serdán-Oriental basin. The rim of the basaltic to basaltic-andesitic maar varies in height and is highest on the western side. The western crater wall exposes a dissected scoria cone that was partially destroyed by the maar-forming eruption. Brilliant-white tufa deposits line the shore of the lake.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
The twin Las Derrumbadas lava domes tower above the rim of the San Luis Atexcac maar. The two rhyolitic lava domes rise about 1000 m above their bases. The NW dome (right) consists of a microcrystalline rhyolite that has been extensively altered by fumarolic activity. The SE dome (left) is of similar lithology. The carapace of both domes has been removed by a series of slope failures. The San Luis Atexcac maar in the foreground was erupted through Cretaceous limestones and Tertiary monzonites and hornsfels.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1998 (Smithsonian Institution).
The Laguna Alchichicha maar is the largest of the Serdán-Oriental volcanic field. The easily accessible lake-filled maar lies just off highway 140 between Puebla and Jalapa. The low rim of the maar increases in height to the west. The pyroclastic-surge deposits contain juvenile fragments of scoriaceous basaltic or basaltic-andesite material. Spectacular tufa deposits such as those in the foreground are located along the shore of the lake. Cerro Pizarro in the distance is the northermost lava dome of the Serdán-Oriental field.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).
The spectacular San Luis Atexcac maar is one of several lake-filled maars of the Serdán-Oriental volcanic field. The walls of the tuff ring expose pyroclastic-surge beds produced during formation of the maar. Cretaceous limestone beds and remnants of a basaltic scoria cone partially destroyed during formation of the maar are exposed in the western crater walls. Rhyolitic obsidian forms abundant juvenile clasts in the surge deposits.

Photo by Hugo Delgado-Granados, 1997 (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).
The SE-most of the twin Las Derrumbadas lava domes is seen here from the SE. The extensively altered dome is surrounded by debris-avalanche deposits. The more recent avalanche deposits consist almost entirely of microcrystalline rhyolite from the core of the dome. They originated from fresh horseshoe-shaped scars such as the one visible at the upper right. These scarps reveal areas of intense alteration to kaolinite produced by prolonged fumarolic activity.

Photo by Hugo Delgado-Granados, 1995 (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).
Cerro Pinto lava dome (right) rises 700 m above the floor of the western part of the Serdán-Oriental basin to a height of 3100 m. The flat ridge to its left is the western rim of Cerro Xalapaxco tuff cone. The rhyolitic Cerro Pinto lava dome was constructed within a tuff cone about the same size as 2-3 km wide Cerro Xalapaxco.

Photo by Gerardo Carrasco-Núñez, 2002 (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).
The summit of Cerro Pinto lava dome on the western side of the Serdán-Oriental basin provides an overview of the dry crater floor of Cerro Xalapaxco tuff cone in the foreground. Pyroclastic-surge deposits associated with Cerro Xalapaxco were deposited in a relatively dry eruptive environment. The sharp-topped peak at the far right is Cerro Pizarro, a lava dome at the northern end of the Serdán-Oriental. The flat ridge stretching across the horizon to the north is Los Humeros caldera.

Photo by Gerardo Carrasco-Núñez, 2002 (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).
Rhyolitic pyroclastic-surge deposits in the foreground are exposed in front of Cerro Pinto lava dome. The dome was constructed within a tuff cone whose rim overlaps with that of the adjacent Cerro Xalapaxco tuff cone to the north. The 3100-m-high lava dome has a glassy and pumiceous carapace partly overlain by pyroclastic-surge deposits and blocks of local bedrock.

Photo by Gerardo Carrasco-Núñez, 2002 (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).
Glacial erosion has affected the summit of Cofre de Perote volcano. Summit lava flows show glacial striations, and a glacial tarn (left) is found SW of the summit. Cofre de Perote overlooks the intermontaine Serdán-Oriental basin, dotted with rhyolitic lava domes, tuff rings, lava flows, and scoria cones. The twin rhyolitic Las Derrumbadas lava domes (distant left center) and Cerro Pinto dome to their right lie about 40 km SW of Cofre de Perote.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1999 (Smithsonian Institution).
The fresh-looking lava flows at the top of the image were erupted from Los Humeros caldera (just out of view to the north). The basaltic and andesitic lava flows extend up to about 15 km from the caldera rim. The flows have not been dated precisely, but are younger than 20,000 years and could in part be of Holocene age. The Tepeyahualco (left) and Limón (right) lava flows bracket circular 3100-m-high Cerro Pizarro lava dome (right center), the northernmost feature of the Serdán-Oriental volcanic field.

NASA Landsat satellite image, 1999 (courtesy of Loren Siebert, University of Akron).
This view of the Serdán-Oriental basin covers about 38 km in a N-S (vertical) direction. The circular peak at the upper center, partially surrounded by young lava flows from Los Humeros caldera, is Cerro Pizarro lava dome. The lake-filled maar to the SSE across the light-colored dry lake basin is Alchichica maar. The erosionally ribbed flanks of Cerro Xalapaxco tuff cone and Cerro Pinto lava dome lie to the SW, and the large forested peaks at the bottom are the the twin Las Derrumbadas lava domes.

NASA Landsat satellite image, 1999 (courtesy of Loren Siebert, University of Akron).

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

Capra L, Macias J L, Scott K M, Abrams M, Garduno-Monroy V H, 2002. Debris avalanches and debris flows transformed from collapses in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, Mexico - behavior, and implications for hazard assessment. J Volc Geotherm Res, 113: 81-110.

Carrasco-Nunez G, Ort M H, Romero C, 2007. Evolution and hydrological conditions of a maar volcano (Atexcac crater, Eastern Mexico). J Volc Geotherm Res, 159: 179-197.

Carrasco-Nunez G, Riggs N R, 2008. Polygenetic nature of a rhyolitic dome and implications for hazard assessment: Cerro Pizarro volcano, Mexico. J Volc Geotherm Res, 171: 307-315.

Luhr J F, Kimberly P G, Siebert L, Aranda-Gomez J J, Housh T B, Kysar Mattietti G, 2006. Quaternary volcanic rocks: insights from the MEXPET petrological and geochemical database. In: Siebe S, Macias J-L, Aguirre-Diaz G J (eds) Neogone-Quaternary continental margin volcanism: a perspective from Mexico, {Geol Soc Amer Spec Pap}, 402: 1-44.

Negendank J F W, Emmermann R, Krawczyk R, Mooser F, Tobschall H, Werle D, 1985. Geological and geochemical investigations on the eastern Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Geof Internac, 24: 477-575.

Ort M H, Carrasco-Nunez G, 2009. Lateral vent migration during phreatomagmatic and magmatic eruptions at Tecuitlapa maar, east-central Mexico. J Volc Geotherm Res, 181: 67-77.

Riggs N R, Carrasco-Nunez G, 2004. Evolution of a complex isolated dome system, Cerro Pizarro, central Mexico. Bull Volc, 66: 322-335.

Siebe C, Macias J L, Abrams M, Rodriguez S, Castro R, 1997. Catastrophic prehistoric eruptions at Popocatepetl and Quaternary explosive volcanism in the Serdan-Oriental Basin, east-central Mexico. IAVCEI General Assembly, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, January 19-24, 1997, Fieldtrip Guidebook, Excursion no 4, 88 p.

Siebe C, Verma S P, 1988. Major element geochemistry and tectonic setting of Las Derrumbadas rhyolitic domes, Puebla, Mexico. Chem Erde, 48: 177-189.

Zimmer B W, Riggs N R, Carrasco-Nunez G, 2010. Evolution of tuff ring-dome complex: the case study of Cerro Pinto, eastern Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Bull Volc, 72: 1223-1240.

Volcano Types

Tuff cone(s)
Lava dome(s)

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)

Rock Types

Major
Rhyolite
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite
Dacite
Minor
Trachyandesite / Basaltic trachy-andesite
Basalt / Picro-Basalt

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
93,158
93,158
211,350
7,672,879

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Serdan-Oriental Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.