Report on Rincon de la Vieja (Costa Rica) — 12 January-18 January 2022
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
12 January-18 January 2022
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2022. Report on Rincon de la Vieja (Costa Rica). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 January-18 January 2022. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
Rincon de la Vieja
10.83°N, 85.324°W; summit elev. 1916 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
OVSICORI-UNA reported that at 0024 on 13 January a two-minute eruption was recorded at Rincón de la Vieja, though weather clouds prevented visual confirmation. Residents to the N heard the eruption and felt vibrations, and lahars were seen in the Rio Azul. Small eruptive events were recorded at 1153 on 15 January and 1243 on 18 January, but plumes were not visible due to weather clouds.
Geological Summary. Rincón de la Vieja, the largest volcano in NW Costa Rica, is a remote volcanic complex in the Guanacaste Range. The volcano consists of an elongated, arcuate NW-SE-trending ridge constructed within the 15-km-wide early Pleistocene Guachipelín caldera, whose rim is exposed on the south side. Sometimes known as the "Colossus of Guanacaste," it has an estimated volume of 130 km3 and contains at least nine major eruptive centers. Activity has migrated to the SE, where the youngest-looking craters are located. The twin cone of Santa María volcano, the highest peak of the complex, is located at the eastern end of a smaller, 5-km-wide caldera and has a 500-m-wide crater. A Plinian eruption producing the 0.25 km3 Río Blanca tephra about 3,500 years ago was the last major magmatic eruption. All subsequent eruptions, including numerous historical eruptions possibly dating back to the 16th century, have been from the prominent active crater containing a 500-m-wide acid lake located ENE of Von Seebach crater.