How Many Volcanoes are There in Costa Rica?

Turrialba Volcano

Eliecer Duarte is passionate about volcanoes, he travels around the world to visit those places and he’s one of the most knowledgeable volcanologists of the country.

He works for the Costa Rican Vulcanological and Seismological Observatory, and he has detailed knowledge about the behavior of the 200 volcanoes in Costa Rica. He claims there are a lot of volcanic structures that haven’t been discovered.

“There are other volcanic structures that remain undiscovered in the territory. They are among us but we would need to undertake a fieldwork in the forest to find them, which is tedious and complicated at the same time” – he says.

In 1987, he designed a map of the active volcanoes in Costa Rica and named some of these natural structures which had remained unidentified until then. The map hasn’t been updated in 30 years.

“We created the map by combining our information with the previous data we found from other expeditions. It was an intensive research work” – he said.

The volcanologist is working on another map with the information collected about other volcanoes.

It is calculated that there are around 200 volcanic structures in the country, but the current map only includes 112 of them.

“A lot of pyroclastic cones, scoria, and volcanic cones are still unseen. There are lots of volcanic structures hidden in the Costa Rican rainforests” – he added.

Active volcanoes are the main priority

Local scientists are more focused on the following volcanoes: Turrialba, Poas, Irazu, Rincon de la Vieja and El Arenal. The others are also in activity but they don’t constitute a danger to the population yet.

“There are small structures forming in creeks and thermal springs, while giants like Turrialba and the Arenal are changing the landscape” – the expert explained.

Arenal Volcano

It’s one of the most interesting volcanoes for the scientific community since it was in constant activity for over five decades until 2009. So far, it hasn’t produced more seismic activity again and it’s considered almost a dormant crater now.

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