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Barú

Photo of this volcano
  • Panama
  • México and Central America
  • Stratovolcano
  • 1550 CE
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 8.808°N
  • 82.543°W

  • 3474 m
    11398 ft

  • 346010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Barú.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Barú.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Barú.

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.

Eruptive History

There is data available for 8 Holocene eruptive periods.

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1550 ± 10 years Unknown Confirmed   Historical Observations
1340 ± 75 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology
1130 ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
0710 ± 30 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
0260 ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
1270 BCE ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
7420 BCE ± 75 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
9280 BCE ± 30 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
Deformation History

There is no Deformation History data available for Barú.

Emission History

There is no Emissions History data available for Barú.

Photo Gallery

The Volcán Barú summit lava dome complex is seen here from the SE. The road to the right leads to communication towers at the summit. The ridge extending across the photo beyond the domes is the northern headwall of a large horseshoe-shaped collapse scarp.

Photo by Tom Casadevall, 1994 (U.S. Geological Survey).
The summit of Barú volcano is just above the wing tip in this view from the SE. Communication towers line the ridge to the right of the summit. Behind it is the northern wall of a large horseshoe-shaped collapse scarp. The Pleistocene Volcán Colorado is under clouds to the upper right.

Photo by Tom Casadevall, 1994 (U.S. Geological Survey).
This photo shows Volcán Barú from the ESE. The summit lava dome complex appears beyond the back wall of a large collapse scarp that forms an irregular ridge near the summit. The flat-topped edifice beyond Barú to the right (NW) is the Pleistocene Volcán Colorado.

Photo by Tom Casadevall, 1994 (U.S. Geological Survey).
The outer eastern flanks of the large Volcán Barú collapse scar are in the foreground, with the northern scarp forming the ridge to the right. The road to the left crosses over the scarp into its moat and then up to the top of a post-collapse lava dome complex that forms the summit.

Photo by Tom Casadevall, 1994 (U.S. Geological Survey).
The Volcán Barú summit lava dome complex is seen in this view from the NE. The complex formed within a large 6 x 10 km horseshoe-shaped collapse scar, with its eastern scarp forming the ridge extending across the bottom of the photo. The peak to the far left is part of the southeastern scarp.

Photo by Tom Casadevall, 1994 (U.S. Geological Survey).
The mottled color characteristic of debris avalanche deposits is visible in a roadcut near the town of Cuesta de Piedra, south of Volcán Barú along the road to Hato del Volcán. A massive debris avalanche deposit produced by flank collapse extends southward to beyond the Pan-American highway.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1998 (Smithsonian Institution).
Las Lagunas, a group of small ponds west of Volcán Barú, formed between hummocks of a massive debris avalanche deposit that resulted from flank collapse. Las Lagunas is 5 km WSW of the town of Hato del Volcán and 19 km from the headwall of the collapse scarp where it originated.

Photo by Paul Kimberly, 1998 (Smithsonian Institution).
The irregular hummocky terrain extending to the south toward the Pacific coastal plain is part of a massive debris avalanche deposit that originated from flank collapse of Volcán Barú. This view is from Cerro Pando, a lava dome to the west. At least two flank failure events have occurred, producing voluminous debris avalanche deposits that form a broad deposit reaching beyond the Pan-American highway to the Pacific coastal plain.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1998 (Smithsonian Institution).
The northern area of the Volcán Barú collapse scarp is seen here from near the summit. The scarp at this point is about 300 m high, much of which has been filled in by a lava dome complex. The massive horseshoe-shaped collapse scar formed as a result of edifice collapse and is about 10 km long and 6 km wide.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1998 (Smithsonian Institution).
Some of the youngest lava domes of Volcán Barú are SW of the summit dome and rise about 80 m high. The summit of the SE-most dome (left) has a roughly 200-m-wide crater.

Photo by Paul Kimberly, 1998 (Smithsonian Institution).
The SE flanks of Volcán Barú are seen from the road to the town of Boquete, in western Panamá near the border with Costa Rica.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1998 (Smithsonian Institution).
Volcán Barú formed on the SW flanks of the Talamanca Range, which extends into Costa Rica. The SW flanks in this view are dominated by deposits produced by a massive flank failure event.

Photo by Kathleen Johnson, 1998 (University of New Orleans).
This view is of the NW flank of Volcán Barú. The morphology of the edifice has funneled most eruption products (including pyroclastic flows, debris avalanches, and lahars) to the west and south, while the northern side of the volcano has been affected mostly by ashfall.

Photo by Kathleen Johnson, 1995 (University of New Orleans).
The lava dome complex in the center of this photo was the youngest feature of Volcán Barú when this photo was taken in 1998. It formed west of a remnant of an older lava dome seen on the horizon. The ridge on the left horizon is part of the NE wall of Barú's flank collapse scarp.

Photo by Kathleen Johnson, 1998 (University of New Orleans).
The light brown area in the center of the photo is the surface of lake sediments deposited in a small former lake on Volcán Barú. The steep switchback dirt road leads from Boquete up the outer flanks towards the lake and then ascends the flanks of the dome complex towards the summit (upper left).

Photo by Kathleen Johnson, 1998 (University of New Orleans).
The SW flanks of Volcán Barú in the Talamanca Range of western Panama rise above agricultural lands at its base. A large 6-km-wide summit scarp opens towards the west (lower left) and is the result of a large flank collapse, which emplaced a massive debris avalanche deposit that underlies much of the farmlands in the foreground.

Photo by Kathleen Johnson, 1995 (University of New Orleans).
This false-color Landsat image shows two large Quaternary volcanoes in western Panamá. Barú volcano is at the upper right below the cloud cover, and Volcán Colorado lies at the top center. Virtually the entire lower left quadrant of the image is underlain by debris avalanche deposits produced by collapse of these two volcanoes, which left large scarps opening widely towards the W and SW. The light-colored area west of Barú consists of pyroclastic flow and lahar deposits related to lava dome growth.

NASA Landsat satellite image (courtesy of Kathleen Johnson, University of New Orleans).
The large flank collapse scar of Volcán Barú is seen here from the west, with its northern wall extending downward left of the summit. The summit itself is a large lava dome complex constructed within the scarp near its eastern headwall. The vegetated horizontal N-S-trending ridge below and to the right of the summit dome complex are segments of the former edifice that slid down intact. The towns of Nuevo California and Hato del Volcán are at the base of the volcano to the right.

Photo by Kathleen Johnson, 1998 (University of New Orleans).
The 10-km-long northern wall of Volcán Barú's horseshoe-shaped collapse scarp extends from the grassy ridge at the lower left to the peak to the upper left. In the center is the large lava dome complex that has filled much of the scar. The light-colored valley floor of Río Macho de Monte in the foreground is composed of pyroclastic flow deposits related to growth and collapse of the summit lava domes. The town of Nuevo Bambito is visible at the bottom of the photo.

Photo by Kathleen Johnson, 1995 (University of New Orleans).
GVP Map Holdings

The maps shown below have been scanned from the GVP map archives and include the volcano on this page. Clicking on the small images will load the full 300 dpi map. Very small-scale maps (such as world maps) are not included. The maps database originated over 30 years ago, but was only recently updated and connected to our main database. We welcome users to tell us if they see incorrect information or other problems with the maps; please use the Contact GVP link at the bottom of the page to send us email.


Title: David
Publisher: Instituto Geografico Nacional "Tommy Guardia"
Country: Panama
Year: 1997
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:250,000
Map of David

Title: Colombia, Panama, Venezuela
Publisher: DMA Aerospace Center
Country: Colombia, Panama
Year: 1988
Series: ONC
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Colombia, Panama, Venezuela

Title: West Indies: The Making of America
Publisher: National Geographic Society
Country: W Indies
Year: 1987
Series: National Geographic
Map Type: Geographic
Scale: 1:4,395
Map of West Indies: The Making of America

Title: Bath of Gulf of Mexico & Caribbean Sea
Publisher: AAPG, Williams & Heintz Map Corp.
Country: US/ C.Am/ S.Am
Year: 1984
Map Type: Bathymetric
Scale: 1:3,289
Map of Bath of Gulf of Mexico & Caribbean Sea

Title: Panama
Country: Panama C-Am
Year: 1981
Map Type: Geographic
Scale: 1:3,200
Map of Panama

Title: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela
Publisher: DMA Aerospace Center
Country: S America
Year: 1981
Series: ONC
Map Type: Navigation
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela

Title: Panama
Publisher: US Army Map Service
Country: Panama
Year: 1959
Series: AMS 1301
Map Type: Topographic
Scale: 1:1,000,000
Map of Panama
Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

There are no samples for Barú in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

External Sites