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Report on Poas (Costa Rica) — 7 June-13 June 2017

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 June-13 June 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, 7 June-13 June 2017. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (7 June-13 June 2017)


Costa Rica

10.2°N, 84.233°W; summit elev. 2708 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

OVSICORI-UNA reported that during 7-13 June seismicity at Poás was characterized by low-amplitude tremor, discrete volcano-tectonic events, low-frequency events, and some periods of small long-period events with low amplitude. During 7-8 June the webcam recorded strong emissions of water vapor, magmatic gases, and particulates. A sulfur odor was reported in Alajuela, San Ramon, and Barva, and incandescence in the area of the crater was recorded at night. OVSICORI-UNA noted that during 8-9 June a plume of water vapor, magmatic gases, and particulates rose from two vents; the lake had evaporated and exposed the vents. A minor sulfur odor was reported on the campus of the Universidad Nacional in Heredia. Events at 1610 and 1750 on 11 June generated plumes that rose 300 and 600 m above the crater, respectively. Plumes from the vents rose 1 km during 12-13 June. A sulfur odor was noted in Quesada, Santa Ana, San José de Alajuela, and San Juanillo Naranjo.

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: Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA)