Report on Poas (Costa Rica) — March 1988

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 3 (March 1988)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland

Poas (Costa Rica) Phreatic explosions continue from crater lake

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1988. Report on Poas (Costa Rica). In: McClelland, L (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 13:3. Smithsonian Institution. http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198803-345040.

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Poas

Costa Rica

10.2°N, 84.233°W; summit elev. 2708 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small phreatic eruptions from the hot crater lake remained frequent in early April, and fumarolic activity was continuing. Magnitude 5.1 and 5.5 earthquakes centered roughly 100 km SW and 175 km SSE on 2 and 11 March had no apparent effect on volcanic activity.

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., ICE.