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Report on Miravalles (Costa Rica) — October 1997


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 22, no. 10 (October 1997)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Miravalles (Costa Rica) Significant earthquake swarm under S flank

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1997. Report on Miravalles (Costa Rica) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 22:10. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199710-345030


Costa Rica

10.748°N, 85.153°W; summit elev. 2028 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

The most significant earthquake swarm at Miravalles in several years occurred on the S flank during 5-27 October (figure 2). The swarm, consisting of 146 located events, was centered around 10.7°N, 85.15°W. No pattern was found correlating the seismity with known local faults.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Major faults in the Guanacaste Range of Costa Rica and October earthquake locations around Miravalles and Tenorio volcanoes. During 5-27 October, 620 earthquakes were recorded, but only 187 could be located. Courtesy of ICE.

Approximately 88% of the earthquakes were M5.0 are not rare near Miravalles; however, the occurrence of two unrelated swarms nearby at Tenorio (~16 km ESE) during October was unusual.

Geological Summary. Miravalles is an andesitic stratovolcano that is one of five post-caldera cones along a NE-trending line within the broad 15 x 20 km Guayabo (Miravalles) caldera. The caldera was formed during several major explosive eruptions that produced voluminous dacitic-rhyolitic pyroclastic flows between ~1.5 and 0.6 million years ago. Growth of post-caldera volcanoes in the eastern part of the caldera that overtopped much of the eastern and southern caldera rims was interrupted by edifice collapse which produced a major debris avalanche to the SW. Morphologically youthful lava flows cover the W and SW flanks of the post-caldera Miravalles complex, which rises above the town of Guayabo on the flat western caldera floor. A small steam explosion on the SW flank was reported in 1946. High heat flow remains, and it is the site of a large developed geothermal field.

Information Contacts: Gerardo J. Soto and Waldo Taylor, Oficina de Sismología y Vulcanología, Departamento de Geología, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), Apartado 10032-1000, San José, Costa Rica.