Report on Arenal (Costa Rica) — 4 September-10 September 2013
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 September-10 September 2013
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Report on Arenal (Costa Rica). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 September-10 September 2013. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
10.463°N, 84.703°W; summit elev. 1670 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
OVSICORI-UNA reported that plumes composed mainly of water vapor rose from the NE and SE edges of Arenal's Crater C on 8 and 9 September. Tremors indicative of hydrothermal and magmatic activity were detected on 8 September. The report noted that seismic and fumarolic activity had been very low in the past three years; however steam plumes associated with heavy rains had been frequent.
Geologic Background. Conical Volcán Arenal is the youngest stratovolcano in Costa Rica and one of its most active. The 1670-m-high andesitic volcano towers above the eastern shores of Lake Arenal, which has been enlarged by a hydroelectric project. Arenal lies along a volcanic chain that has migrated to the NW from the late-Pleistocene Los Perdidos lava domes through the Pleistocene-to-Holocene Chato volcano, which contains a 500-m-wide, lake-filled summit crater. The earliest known eruptions of Arenal took place about 7000 years ago, and it was active concurrently with Cerro Chato until the activity of Chato ended about 3500 years ago. Growth of Arenal has been characterized by periodic major explosive eruptions at several-hundred-year intervals and periods of lava effusion that armor the cone. An eruptive period that began with a major explosive eruption in 1968 ended in December 2010; continuous explosive activity accompanied by slow lava effusion and the occasional emission of pyroclastic flows characterized the eruption from vents at the summit and on the upper western flank.