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Report on Poas (Costa Rica) — 2 August-8 August 2017


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 2 August-8 August 2017
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Poas (Costa Rica) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 2 August-8 August 2017. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (2 August-8 August 2017)


Costa Rica

10.2°N, 84.233°W; summit elev. 2697 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

On 3 August OVSICORI-UNA reported that plumes of magmatic gases, water vapor, and aerosols continued to rise from Poás’s vent A (Boca Roja), and plumes of water vapor and abundant yellow particles of native sulfur were emitted from vent B (Boca Azufrada). Plumes rose as high as 1 km above the vents and drifted SSW. Incandescence from the bottom of the crater was recorded at night by the webcams. Recent measurements indicated that sulfur dioxide was emitted at a rate of 1,000-1,500 tons per day, which were values similar to those measured in the first months of 2017, before the phreato-magmatic eruptions of April and May. Gas plumes continued to rise from the vents and drift SW and NW at least through 8 August.

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.

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