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Report on Irazu (Costa Rica) — June 1999

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 24, no. 6 (June 1999)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Irazu (Costa Rica) Occasional earthquakes and 5-70 microseisms a month during last 1.5 years

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1999. Report on Irazu (Costa Rica). In: Wunderman, R (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 24:6. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199906-345060.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


Irazu

Costa Rica

9.979°N, 83.852°W; summit elev. 3432 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


In late 1998 and early 1999, seismographic station IRZ2 continued to register a few microseisms and occasional earthquakes (figure 13). During February and March, the color of the lake was clear yellow; in May, green. As is typical, the lake contained zones of constant bubbling. Weak fumarolic activity continued on the NE flank.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. Monthly seismicity at Irazú, January 1998-April 1999. Courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

Geologic Background. Irazú, one of Costa Rica's most active volcanoes, rises immediately E of the capital city of San José. The massive volcano covers an area of 500 km2 and is vegetated to within a few hundred meters of its broad flat-topped summit crater complex. At least 10 satellitic cones are located on its S flank. No lava flows have been identified since the eruption of the massive Cervantes lava flows from S-flank vents about 14,000 years ago, and all known Holocene eruptions have been explosive. The focus of eruptions at the summit crater complex has migrated to the W towards the historically active crater, which contains a small lake of variable size and color. Although eruptions may have occurred around the time of the Spanish conquest, the first well-documented historical eruption occurred in 1723, and frequent explosive eruptions have occurred since. Ashfall from the last major eruption during 1963-65 caused significant disruption to San José and surrounding areas.

Information Contacts: E. Fernandez, V. Barboza, E. Duarte, R. Saenz, E. Malavassi, M. Martinez, and R. Van der Laat, T. Marino, and E. Hernandez, Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA), Apartado 86-3000, Heredia, Costa Rica; Wendy Perez Fernandez, Seccion de Seismologia, Vulcanologia y Exploracion Geofisica, Escuela Centroamericana de Geologia, Universidad de Costa Rica, POB 35-2060, San Jose, Costa Rica.