Report on Poas (Costa Rica) — 25 September-1 October 2019
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 25 September-1 October 2019
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2019. Report on Poas (Costa Rica). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 25 September-1 October 2019. 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 during 16-26 September sulfur dioxide emissions from Poás drifted W and NE, causing a sulfur odor in Alajuela, Heredia, San José, and Cartago. Acidic rain was recorded at the official’s house in the Poás Volcano National Park (PNVP) on 23 September and at Universidad Nacional Costa Rica (UNA) in Heredia on 26 September. At 0540 on 30 September a five-minute-long phreatic eruption ejected sediment, and produced a plume that rose 2 km above the crater rim and drifted SW. Ashfall and a sulfur odor was reported in Trojas de Sarchi and Grecia. Officials closed the PNVP because of the eruption and ongoing elevated seismicity; the park remained closed the next day.
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.