Report on Irazu (Costa Rica) — June 1998
Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 23, no. 6 (June 1998)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.
Irazu (Costa Rica) Minor earthquakes, tremor, and small landslides during May
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1998. Report on Irazu (Costa Rica) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 23:6. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199806-345060.
9.979°N, 83.852°W; summit elev. 3432 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During May, water in the active crater lake was pale yellow in color and small landslides on the N, E, and W walls continued. Gas emissions remained moderate. During May, the local seismic station (IRZ2) registered a total of 48 microseisms and three local tectonic earthquakes. Two of these earthquakes struck on 23 and 24 May, with epicenters 5.5 to 6.5 km SW of the principal crater. One was at about 5 km depth, the other at an unspecified depth with a magnitude of 2.2.
Geologic Background. Irazú, one of Costa Rica's most active volcanoes, rises immediately E of the capital city of San José. The massive volcano covers an area of 500 km2 and is vegetated to within a few hundred meters of its broad flat-topped summit crater complex. At least 10 satellitic cones are located on its S flank. No lava flows have been identified since the eruption of the massive Cervantes lava flows from S-flank vents about 14,000 years ago, and all known Holocene eruptions have been explosive. The focus of eruptions at the summit crater complex has migrated to the W towards the historically active crater, which contains a small lake of variable size and color. Although eruptions may have occurred around the time of the Spanish conquest, the first well-documented historical eruption occurred in 1723, and frequent explosive eruptions have occurred since. Ashfall from the last major eruption during 1963-65 caused significant disruption to San José and surrounding areas.
Information Contacts: E. Fernandez, V. Barboza, E. Duarte, R. Saenz, E. Malavassi, M. Martinez, and Rodolfo Van der Laat, Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA), Apartado 86-3000, Heredia, Costa Rica.