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Report on Rincon de la Vieja (Costa Rica) — 23 November-29 November 2022


Rincon de la Vieja

Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 November-29 November 2022
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2022. Report on Rincon de la Vieja (Costa Rica) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 November-29 November 2022. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (23 November-29 November 2022)

Rincon de la Vieja

Costa Rica

10.83°N, 85.324°W; summit elev. 1916 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


OVSICORI-UNA reported continuing eruptive activity at Rincón de la Vieja characterized by occasional small phreatic explosions; five were recorded during 19-25 November. A notable variability in sulfur dioxide emissions was first observed on 18 November and continued through the week, with a peak measurement as high as 1,500 tons per day. A phreatic explosion at 1432 on 25 November produced a steam-rich plume that rose 2 km and drifted SW.

Geological Summary. Rincón de la Vieja, the largest volcano in NW Costa Rica, is a remote volcanic complex in the Guanacaste Range. The volcano consists of an elongated, arcuate NW-SE-trending ridge constructed within the 15-km-wide early Pleistocene Guachipelín caldera, whose rim is exposed on the south side. Sometimes known as the "Colossus of Guanacaste," it has an estimated volume of 130 km3 and contains at least nine major eruptive centers. Activity has migrated to the SE, where the youngest-looking craters are located. The twin cone of Santa María volcano, the highest peak of the complex, is located at the eastern end of a smaller, 5-km-wide caldera and has a 500-m-wide crater. A Plinian eruption producing the 0.25 km3 Río Blanca tephra about 3,500 years ago was the last major magmatic eruption. All subsequent eruptions, including numerous historical eruptions possibly dating back to the 16th century, have been from the prominent active crater containing a 500-m-wide acid lake located ENE of Von Seebach crater.

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