Report on Poas (Costa Rica) — July 2007

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 32, no. 7 (July 2007)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Poas (Costa Rica) Additional information on eruption of 25-26 September 2006

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Poas (Costa Rica). In: Wunderman, R (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 32:7. Smithsonian Institution. http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200707-345040.

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Poas

Costa Rica

10.2°N, 84.233°W; summit elev. 2708 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor phreatic eruptions occurred during 25-26 September 2006 (BGVN 31:08). This report provides more information compiled by the Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA). At the beginning of September, the level of the lake had dropped 5 cm from that of early August, it was light gray in color with sulfur particles floating on the surface, and the temperature was 41° C. On 21 September, the lake had a milky, light blue color.

On 25 September at 2148, seismic station POA2 (2.7 km SW of the active crater) registered a high-frequency signal. The phreatic event that caused the signal ejected a column of fine materials (lake sediments) that were blown SW to a distance of 12 km from the crater. Afterwards the lake color was a darker gray with dark particles floating on the surface; the temperature was 46°C.

New points of fumarolic activity appeared in the SE and NE walls and in the floor of the crater with deposition of sulfur and gas discharge. The temperatures in these areas fluctuated between 90 and 108°C, with gas columns that reached the edge of the crater. Existing cracks in the crater terrace and the NE edge of the crater continued to widen with gas discharge and sulfur-rich sublimate deposition.

Geologic Background. The broad, well-vegetated edifice of Poás, one of the most active volcanoes of Costa Rica, contains three craters along a N-S line. The frequently visited multi-hued summit crater lakes of the basaltic-to-dacitic volcano, which is one of Costa Rica's most prominent natural landmarks, are easily accessible by vehicle from the nearby capital city of San José. A N-S-trending fissure cutting the 2708-m-high complex stratovolcano extends to the lower northern flank, where it has produced the Congo stratovolcano and several lake-filled maars. The southernmost of the two summit crater lakes, Botos, is cold and clear and last erupted about 7500 years ago. The more prominent geothermally heated northern lake, Laguna Caliente, is one of the world's most acidic natural lakes, with a pH of near zero. It has been the site of frequent phreatic and phreatomagmatic eruptions since the first historical eruption was reported in 1828. Eruptions often include geyser-like ejections of crater-lake water.

Information Contacts: Observatorio Vulcanologico Sismologica de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA), Apartado 86-3000, Heredia, Costa Rica. (URL: http://www.ovsicori.una.ac.cr/).