We’re in Costa Rica!

We’re in Costa Rica!

After our month-long field season monitoring Villarrica in Chile, The Volcanofiles have headed north to Costa Rica. Our itinerary takes us all across the country.

UPDATED March 18th with a new schedule.

LIVE webcam of Turrialba Volcano

Where in the World?

View Costa Rica Volcanofiles Expedition 2013 in a larger map

Volcán Arenal
We start our season here in Costa Rica heading north. Arenal has been one of the world’s most active volcanoes. In the past two years, activity has been significantly lessened. Access to the rim is difficult, as the volcano is steep and can be quite dangerous to climb. Luckily, we can use our remote sensing instruments to measure SO2 emissions from the volcano. Weather is impossible to predict here in Costa Rica, especially on the tops of these high volcanoes, and Arenal is often covered in clouds at its summit. If we are lucky enough to have some clear weather, we will scan the volcano’s plume to our hearts content.

The next volcano on our itinerary promises to be the most interesting. Volcán Turrialba, although historically not the most active in Costa Rica, has been showing signs of unrest over the past two years. Recently, a new fumarole formed in the crater and has been reported as hot as 800 °C. With the help of our friends from the Universidad de Costa Rica, we will haul our FTIR instrument, multigas sensor, and UV spectrometers to the rim of Turrialba to learn about the flux and composition of the gasses from this new, very active fumarole.

You can get a great (Live!) view of Turrialba from OVSICORI’s webcam (see the top of this post).

Volcán Poás will be yet another stop in our journey through Costa Rica and is the most accessible of all of the volcanoes. A big tourist attraction in Costa Rica, there are roads right up to the rim of the crater after which a short hike into the crater down to its crater lake is possible with special permission. Poas always seems to be actively churning out gasses through its crater lake, which is lined at its bottom by a layer of molten sulfur.

Rincón de la Vieja
As is typical when working in this part of the world, we tend to play scheduling by ear. Because of our short time here and the ever-changing weather conditions, it makes it imperative that we spend more days than typical at the volcanoes where we think we can get the most data. We’ve decided to cut our trip to the north short and just visit the Arenal area (more as a touristic and recon trip for future field seasons).

Rincón de la Vieja is located in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica to visit Rincón de la Vieja (in Spanish, “The Old Woman’s Corner”). The name comes from an old Costa Rican legend in which a young woman’s father murdered her lover by throwing him into the crater of the volcano. The young woman then lived her life out on the volcano, gaining magical healing powers.

This February, the country’s observatory OVSICORI-UNA reported a number of eruptions from Rincón’s active crater. This could be a good site for future field seasons.

Stay tuned for more live updates from the field throughout our two-week stay here in Costa Rica! Pura Vida!

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