The Ajusco is the highest volcano in Mexico City. PHOTO: MARGARITO PÉREZ RETANA / CUARTOSCURO.COM
The urban landscape of the Valley of Mexico is guarded by two titans that can be seen with the naked eye from almost anywhere in the capital on a clear day. These are the Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes, two volcanoes that are located between the limits of the State of Mexico and the state of Puebla.
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Both are very high, since Popocatépetl measures 5,452 meters above sea level, while Iztaccíhuatl measures a little less, 5,286 meters above sea level. Both have their tops covered in white by snow and are the second and third highest volcanoes in Mexico, after Pico de Orizaba, and before Nevado de Toluca.
However, very few people know that in Mexico City there are eight volcanoes that are commonly thought to be hills. All of them are inactive, and are found in various parts of the capital. These are Xitle, Pelado, Teuhtli, Chichinautzin, Cuauhtzin, Tlaloc, Guadalupe and Ajusco. Most of them are monogenetic, which is a volcano built by it or the products of an eruption or eruptive phase. It can last from weeks to several years, but is essentially a prolonged eruption involving a type of magma, which usually occurs through a single outflow from a single feeder system.
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Generally, these centers correspond to cones, rings, or depressions of small dimensions and may have associated lava flows.
In addition, monogenetic volcanoes are small and can have powerful eruptions, although not as powerful as large ones, which release material into the stratosphere and are responsible for climate change, but they do have the capacity to affect inhabited areas. All depending on your eruptive style.
The Xitle is found on the slopes of the Ajusco, and is of the cinder cone type, that is, with a conical shape and a round base. Photo: TW/ @napoleon_mex
Of these volcanoes, Xitle, which is located south of the capital, generated a lot of lava. Near the University metro there are 40 meters thick of this molten rock material. If a similar eruption were to be repeated again, the lava would not cause deaths among the population, as it could be evacuated in a timely manner, but it would bury everything in its path.
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Monogenetic volcanoes have a single eruption and are short-lived and are usually small.
Below we describe the eight volcanoes that are in CDMX:
Xitle: comes from the Nahuatl xictli, which means “navel”. This volcano is located on the slopes of Ajusco, and is of the cinder cone type, that is, with a conical shape and a round base. It has a height of 3,100 meters above sea level and a slope of between 30° and 40°.
Pelado: It is located in the Tlalpan delegation, and has a height of 3,620 meters above sea level.
Teutli: It is located between the Tlalpan, Xochimilco and Milpa Alta delegations; It reaches a height of 2,710 meters above sea level. It has the characteristic of having a diameter much greater than its height.
The Popocatépetl volcano is the second highest in the country, behind Pico de Orizaba. (Photo: Cuartoscuro)
The closest town to visit is Santiago Tulyehualco, in the Xochimilco delegation.
Chihinautzin: It is between Mexico City and Morelos, it gives its name to said mountain range and reaches 3,430 meters above sea level. It covers the protected natural area of the Tepozteco and Zempoala Lagoons National Parks.
Cuauhtzin: It is also located between Morelos and Mexico City. It is 3,510 meters above sea level.
Tláloc: It is located in the wooded area of the Milpa Alta delegation and is part of the Ajusco-Chichinauhtzin mountain range, in the Volcanic Axis. It is located at 3,690 meters above sea level. It is the second highest volcano in Mexico City, only behind Ajusco.
Guadalupe or El Borrego: It is located in Iztapalapa, in what is known as the Sierra de Santa Catarina. Although it is a bit difficult and not very safe to reach the top, it can be observed from Cerro de la Estrella.
Ajusco: it is located in the Tlalpan delegation and is the highest point in the capital with 3,930 meters above sea level. The Ajusco is of the same type as that of Popocatépetl, but it is an old one that has been collapsing over time. A part of the top fell off and formed an avalanche of rubble that was later covered by lava from Xitle.