Report on Poas (Costa Rica) — 20 September-26 September 2006

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 September-26 September 2006
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2006. Report on Poas (Costa Rica). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 September-26 September 2006. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

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Poas

Costa Rica

10.2°N, 84.233°W; summit elev. 2708 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


On 26 September at least two phreatic eruptions occurred at Poás. One during the night of 25 September reached a height of at least 350 m above the warm acid lake, depositing rock fragments, mud, and water in the southern part of the inner crater and outside the western part of the crater. Material ejected that night reached Trojas de Sarchí, almost 10 km SW. A smaller eruption on the morning of 26 September was limited to the area of the lake, and formed green-yellow semicircular zones of mud and sulfur up to 75 m in diameter.

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.

Source: Red Sismologica Nacional (RSN: UCR-ICE), Universidad de Costa Rica and Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad