The United States donated four volcano monitoring devices valued at $36,000 to Costa Rica. The donation was made by the Volcanic Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) to the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (Ovsicori) at the National University.
The delivery ceremony was held in the Poás Volcano National Park by the Charge d’Affaires of the United States Embassy, Marcos Mandojana.“The United States values the collaboration and enduring friendship between our countries. We share a long history of scientific cooperation with Costa Rica, which continues as a very supportive partner in scientific and environmental matters”, said the diplomat.
Representatives from the Office of Humanitarian Assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID/BHA) also participated in the delivery of the equipment.
What the equipment does
According to the diplomatic mission, the equipment will be used to monitor the degassing of the Rincón de la Vieja, Poás and Turrialba volcanoes, which are currently the most active in Costa Rica.
Poas volcano gas monitoring
Gas monitoring devices measure the amount of sulfur dioxide emitted by volcanoes, a key indicator of magmatic activity.These kits use a technique called “differential optical absorption spectrometry.”
This makes it possible to quantify the amount of light absorbed by the sulfur dioxide in the plume of gas passing over the station, as it travels downwind of the volcano.
These stations will monitor the gas from a remote location, several kilometers from the active crater. Therefore, they are less likely to be destroyed in the event of an eruption compared to current in-situ gas monitoring methods.
The VDAP was born in 1986 after the eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia. On that occasion, approximately 25,000 people died. Its goal is to prevent future volcanic eruptions from becoming disasters.