Report on Poas (Costa Rica) — 19 April-25 April 2017
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 April-25 April 2017
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Poas (Costa Rica). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 April-25 April 2017. 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 20 April a dense water vapor plume rose from a vent in the newly-forming pyroclastic cone at the site of the old dome in the hot lake at Poás. Gas flux increased from 1,000 tons/day (t/d) on 13 April to 2,500 t/d on 20 April. During 20-22 April Strombolian activity ejected tephra that fell around the vent within a 300-m radius. Gas-and-ash plumes rose 200 m above the vent. The Red Cross of Grecia reported ashfall in Alajuela, Fraijanes, San Miguel, Carbonal, Cajón, San Francisco, San Roque, and San Juan Norte de Poás. Events at 1316 and 1603 on 22 April produced plumes of unknown height. Several more eruptive events were recorded that day; an event at 2212 was very intense, ejecting bombs large distances. An event at 1215 on 23 April generated a plume of unknown height.
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.