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Report on Poas (Costa Rica) — 22 June-28 June 2016

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 June-28 June 2016
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2016. Report on Poas (Costa Rica). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 June-28 June 2016. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (22 June-28 June 2016)


Costa Rica

10.2°N, 84.233°W; summit elev. 2708 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

According to news articles, phreatic explosions from the hot lake at Poás occurred multiple times in June. Explosions at 0900 on 5 June, 1854 on 13 June, and 1952 on 14 June ejected water and steam many meters above the lake’s surface. Three small explosions, lasting about five seconds each based on the seismic signals, occurred during 0600-0603 on 18 June and ejected water, steam, and debris no more than 50 m above the lake’s surface. Phreatic explosions were also registered on 19 June.

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.

Sources: Prensa Libre, Prensa Latina