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Barú

Photo of this volcano
  • Panama
  • Central America Volcanic Arc
  • Composite | Stratovolcano
  • 1550 CE
  • Country
  • Volcanic Province
  • Landform | Volc 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 available 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 confirmed Holocene eruptive periods.

1550 ± 10 years Confirmed Eruption  

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode
1550 ± 10 years - Unknown Evidence from Observations: Reported

List of 5 Events for Episode 1

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Pyroclastic flow
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Property Damage
   - - - -    - - - - Evacuations

1340 ± 75 years Confirmed Eruption  

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode
1340 ± 75 years - Unknown Evidence from Correlation: Tephrochronology

List of 3 Events for Episode 1

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Pyroclastic flow
   - - - -    - - - - Ash

1130 ± 150 years Confirmed Eruption  

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode
1130 ± 150 years - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 4 Events for Episode 1

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Pyroclastic flow
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Lapilli

0710 ± 30 years Confirmed Eruption  

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode
0710 ± 30 years - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 7 Events for Episode 1

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Pyroclastic flow
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Lapilli
   - - - -    - - - - Pumice
   - - - -    - - - - Property Damage
   - - - -    - - - - Evacuations

0260 ± 150 years Confirmed Eruption  

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode
0260 ± 150 years - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 2 Events for Episode 1

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Ash

1270 BCE ± 100 years Confirmed Eruption  

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode
1270 BCE ± 100 years - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 2 Events for Episode 1

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Avalanche

7420 BCE ± 75 years Confirmed Eruption  

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode
7420 BCE ± 75 years - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 1 Events for Episode 1

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion

9280 BCE ± 30 years Confirmed Eruption  

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode
9280 BCE ± 30 years - Unknown Evidence from Isotopic: 14C (calibrated)

List of 1 Events for Episode 1

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
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

Maps are not currently available due to technical issues.

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.

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