Ovsicori Explains the Reason for the 500 Meter High Plume in Arenal Volcano

    ‘El Rincón de la Vieja’ volcano regularly erupts

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    In recent days, some people reported a column that was observed at the top of the Arenal volcano, in the north. The Volcanological and Seismological Observatory (Ovsicori) included the detail in the daily report of the volcanoes this Saturday and clarifies that Arenal remains calm. “There is no seismic activity recorded and the last measurement of the flow of magmatic gases, carried out at the end of May, does not show gas emissions at the top of the volcano“, details the report published on social media.

    That column is a plume of water vapor at least 500 meters high, says the report signed by the expert, Javier Pacheco. “The plume that can be seen is due to the perforation of meteoric water to a depth where it interacts with the rock that is still hot (over 100ºC) and its subsequent exit in the form of steam through the fumaroles at the top of Arenal”, he adds.

    ‘Rincón de la Vieja’ inconstantactivity

    The attention of experts is focused on the Rincón de la Vieja volcano, which continues to erupt. In the last 24 hours, at least 3 have been reported. “The most energetic occurred at 06:24 am, which sent a column of gas and water vapor to a height of approximately 1,500 meters”, reports Ovsicori.

    The activity level of this massif is 3, that is, caution. No damages of any kind are reported. “Since Thursday, very low-magnitude volcano-tectonic earthquakes have been recorded to the south of the Pailas sector of the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park. Small volcanic earthquakes of low frequency and very low amplitude are also registered with less frequency”, the report adds.

    “SO2 gas flows remain with average values of less than 300 tons/day. Yesterday, during the passage of the Sentinel satellite, 36 tons of SO2 were measured. The deformation shows a slight extension of the volcanic edifice”.

    Being in preventive alert

    The National Emergency Commission (CNE) held a press conference last Monday on the activity of the Rincónde la Vieja volcano. Since May 26th, alerts have been issued due to constant activity; especially a green alert for the districts of Dos Ríos and AguasClaras in the canton of Upala, as well as the districts of Mayorga, CañasDulces and Curubandé in the canton of Liberia. The warning is preventive, mainly due to material falling into nearby rivers.

    Restrictions for visitors

    Since 2011, the Technical Committee of Volcanology and Seismology of the National Emergency Commission (CNE) recommended maintaining the restriction on entry to the vicinity of Rincón de la Vieja. The volcano is one of the most active in Costa Rica, with weak but almost continuous activity.

    The Ovsicori expert, Javier Pacheco, explained that there are risks that visitors cannot ignore. “At the end of 2011, the volcano resumed activity with small phreatic type eruptions, due to their nature, they occur frequently and there are no precursors”, he explained.

    The Upala Canton Emergency Committee monitors the behavior of the massif. Until last Saturday, other volcanoes that are considered active, such as Turrialba and Poás, remain calm.

    Resonance Costa Rica
    At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel
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