Signs Point to Magmatic Activity Within Volcano

March 12, 2010

Recent tremors and the release of incandescent gases at the Turrialba Volcano, about 35 kilometers northeast of San José, could be indicative of magmatic activity.

Experts from the NationalUniversity’s Vulcanological and Seismological Observatory of a (OVSICORI) last Sunday night photographed a “long, reddish vapor trail” seeping out of the volcano’s crater, moving west and extending up to 60 kilometers from the mouth of the volcano.

According to an OVSICORI report, the gasses in the vapor trail, composed mostly of sulfur, reached temperatures of 320 degrees Celsius.

The trail’s searing, reddish tint might be explained by small lava particles that have mixed with the gasses inside the volcano, the report said.

Elicier Duarte, an OVSICORI scientist, said that red fragments could be coming from a cavity deep inside the volcano adding that the presence of the particles, though, could also be due to rising magma inside the mountain.

This week, seismologists also recorded small tremors and heard “deafening, jet engine-like noises” at the volcano. On Tuesday, a 1.5 magnitude tremor rattled the area briefly at 9:18 a.m.

Duarte said that these shakes and sounds are also signs that the volcano is “likely magmatic.”

The Turrialba Volcano began showing increased signs of activity in early January when ash eruptions forced dozens of evacuations in communities around the volcano’s skirts. Scientists described the activity as the first such display in more than 140 years.

Since then, teams of experts have monitored the volcano closely, measuring gases and looking for possible signs of additional activity.

–Mike McDonald

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Jaguars: a symbol of Costa Rica
Pic of the Day
485 views
Pic of the Day
485 views

Jaguars: a symbol of Costa Rica

Alissa Grosskopf - October 17, 2018

Jaguars represent an important part of Latin America's indigenous heritage. For its strength, grace and mysterious aura, it is a…

Nicaragua calls Carlos Alvarado’s statements “disrespectful” and “intrusive”
News
1336 views
News
1336 views

Nicaragua calls Carlos Alvarado’s statements “disrespectful” and “intrusive”

AFP / The Tico Times - October 16, 2018

The Nicaraguan government described statements by Costa Rican president Carlos Alvarado about Nicaragua's “internal affairs” as “disrespectful” and “intrusive.” The…

Transformational travel in Costa Rica: Turning the flat world round
Costa Rica
988 views
Costa Rica
988 views

Transformational travel in Costa Rica: Turning the flat world round

Alissa Grosskopf - October 16, 2018

The sound of roaring water and the fear in my body drown out the encouraging shouts of my group behind…