Report on Poas (Costa Rica) — 23 December-29 December 2009
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 December-29 December 2009
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2009. Report on Poas (Costa Rica). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 December-29 December 2009. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
10.2°N, 84.233°W; summit elev. 2708 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
OVSICORI-UNA reported that on 25 December a phreatic eruption from Laguna Caliente, a summit lake of Poás, was seen by visitors standing at a viewpoint to the S of the crater. Lake water mixed with sediment and blocks was ejected 550-600 m above Laguna Caliente and fell in the vicinity of the lake, within the crater. The amount of steam emitted from lava-dome fumaroles, at the S edge of the lake, increased subsequent to the eruption.
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.