Report on Turrialba (Costa Rica) — 15 June-21 June 2011
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 June-21 June 2011
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on Turrialba (Costa Rica). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 June-21 June 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
10.025°N, 83.767°W; summit elev. 3340 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
OVSICORI-UNA reported that on 9 June scientists conducting fieldwork at Turrialba observed a new crater lake in the W crater, which opened in January 2010 and was the center of the most recent activity. Since February, rock landslides along with abundant mud and clay had accumulated in the bottom of the crater, blocking the vent. Meteoric water from rains starting in May had formed a light-green-colored lake that was 70 by 70 m and about 1 m deep. Minor bubbling in the SW and NE shores was noted, and steam and sulfur dioxide gas emissions rose from many fumarolic vents around the crater.
Geologic Background. Turrialba, the easternmost of Costa Rica's Holocene volcanoes, is a large vegetated basaltic-to-dacitic stratovolcano located across a broad saddle NE of Irazú volcano overlooking the city of Cartago. The massive edifice covers an area of 500 km2. Three well-defined craters occur at the upper SW end of a broad 800 x 2200 m summit depression that is breached to the NE. Most activity originated from the summit vent complex, but two pyroclastic cones are located on the SW flank. Five major explosive eruptions have occurred during the past 3500 years. A series of explosive eruptions during the 19th century were sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows. Fumarolic activity continues at the central and SW summit craters.