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Report on Poas (Costa Rica) — November 1982


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 11 (November 1982)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Poas (Costa Rica) Maximum fumarole temperatures have declined

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1982. Report on Poas (Costa Rica) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 7:11. Smithsonian Institution.


Costa Rica

10.2°N, 84.233°W; summit elev. 2708 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

"The volcano has cooled over the past year, with maximum fumarole temperatures on the cone of 575°C. Only very dull, brown incandescence could be occasionally seen, whereas one year ago bright red was seen easily. Water temperature was 41°C and the pH approximately 0. COSPEC measurements of SO2 flux suggest levels very far below the approximately 800 metric tons/day measured in February 1982 by Casadevall and others (1984). A portable seismograph indicated very little seismic activity in two days of recording in November."

Reference. Casadevall, T., Rose, W.I. Jr., Fuller, W., Hunt, W., Hart, M., Moyers, J., Woods, D., Chuan, R., and Friend, J., 1984, Sulfur dioxide and particles in quiescent volcanic plumes from Poás, Arenal, and Colima volcanoes, Costa Rica and México: JGR, v. 89, no. D6, p. 9633-9641.

Geological Summary. The broad, well-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, which is one of Costa Rica's most prominent natural landmarks, are easily accessible by vehicle from the nearby capital city of San José. A N-S-trending fissure cutting the 2708-m-high complex stratovolcano extends to the lower northern flank, where it has produced the Congo stratovolcano and several lake-filled maars. The southernmost of the two summit crater lakes, Botos, is cold and clear and last erupted about 7500 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 the first historical eruption was reported in 1828. Eruptions often include geyser-like ejections of crater-lake water.

Information Contacts: R. Stoiber, S. Williams, H.R. Naslund, C. Connor, J. Prosser, and J.B. Gemmell, Dartmouth College; E. Malavassi R. and J. Barquero H., Univ. Nacional, Heredia.