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Report on Poas (Costa Rica) — 5 July-11 July 2017

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 July-11 July 2017
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Poas (Costa Rica). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 July-11 July 2017. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (5 July-11 July 2017)


Costa Rica

10.2°N, 84.233°W; summit elev. 2708 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

OVSICORI-UNA reported that during 4-9 July plumes of magmatic gases, water vapor, and aerosols rose 200-600 m above Poás’s vents A (Boca Roja) and B (Boca Azufrada). Minor incandescence from the bottom of the crater was observed during 4-5 July, and a strong sulfur odor was reported in some areas of Alajuela and Heredia. During 5-7 July grayish-red ash emissions rose intermittently from vent A, and on 7 July a loud “jet” sound was noted in Mirador. A strong sulfur odor and minor ashfall was reported in some areas of Alajuela. An event at 1450 on 10 July generated a plume that rose 300 m.

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.

Source: Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA)