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Report on Turrialba (Costa Rica) — 18 March-24 March 2015


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 March-24 March 2015
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2015. Report on Turrialba (Costa Rica) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 March-24 March 2015. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (18 March-24 March 2015)


Costa Rica

10.025°N, 83.767°W; summit elev. 3340 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

OVSICORI-UNA reported that on 18 March gas, vapor, and ash plumes rose from Turrialba's Cráter Oeste and seismicity remained high. Observers in Finca La Central (2 km SW) noted gas-and-steam emissions. On 19 March at 0806 and 1007 gas and water vapor emissions rose from the crater; the emissions at 1007 rose from Cráter Central and contained a small amount of ash. At 1400 the webcam recorded strong emissions of gas, vapor, and tephra from Cráter Oeste. A national park official heard two booming sounds at 1530. At around 1000 on 23 March a gas, vapor, and ash plume rose from Cráter Oeste, causing ashfall in areas E and SE of the crater including Cráter Central and el Mirador. In addition a dense and vigorous gas-and-vapor plume caused Parque Nacional Volcán Turrialba authorities to recommend masks for protection against gas inhalation.

Geological Summary. Turrialba, the easternmost of Costa Rica's Holocene volcanoes, is a large vegetated basaltic-to-dacitic stratovolcano located across a broad saddle NE of Irazú volcano overlooking the city of Cartago. The massive edifice covers an area of 500 km2. Three well-defined craters occur at the upper SW end of a broad 800 x 2200 m summit depression that is breached to the NE. Most activity originated from the summit vent complex, but two pyroclastic cones are located on the SW flank. Five major explosive eruptions have occurred during the past 3500 years. A series of explosive eruptions during the 19th century were sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows. Fumarolic activity continues at the central and SW summit craters.

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