Report on Poas (Costa Rica) — 5 September-11 September 2007
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 September-11 September 2007
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Poas (Costa Rica). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 September-11 September 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
10.2°N, 84.233°W; summit elev. 2708 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
OVSICORI-UNA reported that during August, Laguna Caliente, a summit lake of Poás, was greenish-gray in color, exhibited convection cells in the lake's center, and contained dark gray floating particles. Subaqueous fumaroles at the center of the lake released gases that spread and covered the entire surface of the lake. The level of the lake had dropped 59 cm with respect to its level in July, and it had a temperature of 58 degrees Celsius. Fumarolic activity from a pyroclastic cone produced gas plumes that rose 400 m above the floor of the crater. Points of gas discharge were noted from the N and NW crater walls, the terrace, and the NE edge of the crater. Fumaroles in contact with the lake and the NE wall produced sulfur particles that floated in the lake. Emissions from the SE and NE crater walls were very low in volume.
Geologic Background. 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.