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Report on Turrialba (Costa Rica) — 10 May-16 May 2017


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 May-16 May 2017
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Turrialba (Costa Rica) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 May-16 May 2017. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (10 May-16 May 2017)


Costa Rica

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

OVSICORI-UNA reported an explosion at Turrialba on 10 May, followed by weak and passive ash emissions during 10-11 May. Several long-period earthquakes were recorded, and inflation continued. Gas measurements indicated a sulfur dioxide flux of 1,000 tons/day, and a high carbon dioxide/sulfur dioxide ratio. An event at 0900 on 12 May generated a plume, though poor visibility prevented a height estimate. An event at 0730 on 14 May generated a plume that rose 500 m above the crater rim and drifted N. Low-amplitude tremor was detected during 15-16 May, and a discontinuous ash plume rose no more than 500 m and drifted N and NW.

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)