Report on Poas (Costa Rica) — December 1987

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 12, no. 12 (December 1987)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland

Poas (Costa Rica) Phreatic activity continues

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1987. Report on Poas (Costa Rica). In: McClelland, L (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 12:12. Smithsonian Institution. http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198712-345040.

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Poas

Costa Rica

10.2°N, 84.233°W; summit elev. 2708 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Phreatic activity, which has been occurring for the past several months from Thermomineral Lagoon [generally called Crater Lake] in the active crater, continued through November. Activity, such as on 17 November between 2000 and 2030, was characterized by geyser-like eruptions and small bubbles that were observed about every 5 minutes from 21 sites around the lagoon. On 27 November, phreatic eruptions were recorded frequently during 1-2-hour periods, separated by 40-50-minute periods of quiet.

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: Guillermo Alvarado I., Sección Sismología e Ing. Sísmica, Departamento de Geología, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE).