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Report on Turrialba (Costa Rica) — 6 September-12 September 2006


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
6 September-12 September 2006
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2006. Report on Turrialba (Costa Rica). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 6 September-12 September 2006. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (6 September-12 September 2006)


Costa Rica

10.025°N, 83.767°W; summit elev. 3340 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Fumarolic activity and gas discharge in and to the W of Turrialba's central crater continued throughout August. On 30 August, scientists visiting the area noted that localized vegetation in and around the summit area had been heavily impacted by gases. Areas not affected by increased fumarolic activity in June 2005 had been singed by noxious gases, including a tree belt on the NW outer flank. Below the tree belt, farmers reported an intensification of gas odors. The shapes of the gas-scarred areas reflected prevailing wind directions.

Geological Summary. Turrialba, the easternmost of Costa Rica's Holocene volcanoes, is a large vegetated basaltic-to-dacitic stratovolcano located across a broad saddle NE of IrazĂș volcano overlooking the city of Cartago. The massive edifice covers an area of 500 km2. Three well-defined craters occur at the upper SW end of a broad 800 x 2200 m summit depression that is breached to the NE. Most activity originated from the summit vent complex, but two pyroclastic cones are located on the SW flank. Five major explosive eruptions have occurred during the past 3500 years. A series of explosive eruptions during the 19th century were sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows. Fumarolic activity continues at the central and SW summit craters.

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