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Parícutin (pärēˈkōtēn) [key], active volcano, c.8,200 ft (2,500 m) high, Michoacán state, W central Mexico. In one of the most spectacular eruptions of modern times, Parícutin burst forth from a cornfield on Feb. 20, 1943, and grew discontinuously until 1952, spewing forth over a billion tons of lava. It buried the town of San Juan Parangaricutiro and the village of Parícutin, whence its name. The cone is a remarkable example of volcanic growth, and its development was closely studied by international scientific teams.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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