By Paige Cross           



Visiting a Volcano


Where is it?

Volcán de Colima is situated approximately 125 km (75 miles) to the south of Guadalajara, in the Mexican state of Jalisco7 

Fig. 3.1 Political map of the state of Jalisco, displaying important geographical features. be more specific:

Colima, Mexico

Latitude: 19.514° N, 19°30'50"N

Longitude: 103.62°W, 103°37'0"W6

Fig. 3.2 Geographical, topographical, and tectonic representation of location of Colima volcano.

Volcán de Colima is part of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, or the TMVB for short. 

The TMVB is a 1000 km-long continental volcanic arc caused by the subduction of the Cocos and Rivera plates under the North American plate24.  This arc runs from the Gulf of California, across the Central part of Mexico, and over to the Gulf of Mexico24.

The TMVB produces a wide range of volcanic characteristics, from stratovolcanoes, calderas, domes, and single-source cones, but the composition is generally "calc-alkaline," and is thus responsible for Colima's classification as an andesitic stratovolcano24.

The western portion of the TMVB, where Colima is located, contains the Colima Graben, the Zacoalco fault zone, and the Chapala Graben12, which converge to the north and east of the Jalisco Block, where the Colima complex is situated24.


The Jalisco Block experiences a unique combination of extensional tectonics caused by the rifting at the Colima Graben and compressional tectonics at the subduction zone of the Rivera and North American Plates12.

Fig. 5

"Location of Volcán de Colima in the western portion of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Abbreviations are: MC=Mexico City, T=Toluca, G=Guadalajara, M=Morelia, TMVB=Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, and MAT=Middle American Trench. (B) Sketch map of the Colima Graben showing the location of the Cantaro, Nevado de Colima, and Colima volcanoes"



Minus the technical stuff:

A more realistic and simplistic representation of the volcano and its setting.

Mexican Riviera map - Rincon To Manzanillo, Colima Volcano

  Fig. 3.3 Satellite image of Colima volcano (Volcano of Fire) and surrounding area.