Report on Poas (Costa Rica) — 26 February-4 March 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 February-4 March 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Poas (Costa Rica). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 February-4 March 2014. 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 at 0800 on 25 February officials at the Parque Nacional Volcán Poás noted that the gray crater lake had convection cells and weak fumarolic activity at the S edge of the lake around a cryptodome. At 1203 a strong phreatic explosion from Poás was recorded by webcams at the N end of the lake. The explosion ejected water, steam, gas, sediment, and rock fragments over 400 m above the lake's surface. Most of the material fell back into the lake, and onto the W, N, and E parts of the crater walls. Fumarolic activity around the cryptodome and lake convection both increased after the explosion.
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.