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Report on Poas (Costa Rica) — March 1983


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 8, no. 3 (March 1983)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Poas (Costa Rica) Fumarole and crater lake temperatures higher

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1983. Report on Poas (Costa Rica) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 8:3. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198303-345040


Costa Rica

10.2°N, 84.233°W; summit elev. 2697 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

A fissure extending from the E side across the summit of the eroded cone at the S end of the crater lake emitted gases that were hotter in late March than several months earlier. On 22 March, Jerry Prosser measured a temperature of 800°C on the side of the cone and 890°C at the summit. Cheminée and others had reported variable but generally falling temperatures between June 1981 (940°C) and December 1982 (731°C). Prosser also noted that the crater lake was consistently warmer than 60°C, its highest temperature since just prior to the 1978 eruption.

Geological Summary. The broad 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 are easily accessible by vehicle from the nearby capital city of San José. A N-S-trending fissure cutting the complex stratovolcano extends to the lower N flank, where it has produced the Congo stratovolcano and several lake-filled maars. The southernmost of the two summit crater lakes, Botos, last erupted about 7,500 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 an eruption was reported in 1828. Eruptions often include geyser-like ejections of crater-lake water.

Information Contacts: J. Prosser, Dartmouth College.