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Report on Arenal (Costa Rica) — 19 September-25 September 2007

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 September-25 September 2007
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Arenal (Costa Rica). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 September-25 September 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (19 September-25 September 2007)


Arenal

Costa Rica

10.463°N, 84.703°W; summit elev. 1670 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Based on initial observations from park visitors and resort personnel, OVSICORI-UNA reported that a pyroclastic flow from Arenal traveled W on 18 September. The event was recorded by a local seismic station.

Based on field observations, a scientist from Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) reported that multiple pyroclastic flows traveled S an approximate distance of 1 km on 18 September. Explosions occurred that occasionally produced ash. Small avalanches were noted and one larger avalanche on the S flank was incandescent. Avalanche activity continued on 19 September.

Geologic Background. Conical Volcán Arenal is the youngest stratovolcano in Costa Rica and one of its most active. The 1670-m-high andesitic volcano towers above the eastern shores of Lake Arenal, which has been enlarged by a hydroelectric project. Arenal lies along a volcanic chain that has migrated to the NW from the late-Pleistocene Los Perdidos lava domes through the Pleistocene-to-Holocene Chato volcano, which contains a 500-m-wide, lake-filled summit crater. The earliest known eruptions of Arenal took place about 7000 years ago, and it was active concurrently with Cerro Chato until the activity of Chato ended about 3500 years ago. Growth of Arenal has been characterized by periodic major explosive eruptions at several-hundred-year intervals and periods of lava effusion that armor the cone. An eruptive period that began with a major explosive eruption in 1968 ended in December 2010; continuous explosive activity accompanied by slow lava effusion and the occasional emission of pyroclastic flows characterized the eruption from vents at the summit and on the upper western flank.

Sources: Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA), Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE)