Volcano Arenal in Costa Rica

Volcanoes in Costa Rica

With 2 volcanoes in Costa Rica there have been a total of 6 significant eruptions over the past one hundred years. Over one hundred people were killed. The worst volcanic eruption in terms of deaths, destroyed houses and financial damages happened on 12/10/1963 with the eruption of "Irazu". Here, 40 people died.

All eight volcanoes in Costa Rica are still considered as active.

Other natural hazards in Costa Rica:
Current volcanoes worldwide

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Significant volcanic eruptions in Costa Rica in the last 100 years

Volcano Arenal in Costa RicaThe following list shows all volcanic eruptions of the last one hundred years with significant damage. The column "VEI" stands for the volcano explosivity index, which represents the strength of the eruption from a geological point of view. This takes into account the height and volume of the rocks ejected. The scale ranges from 0-8, with the severity of the eruption increasing tenfold with each value. For example, a VEI of 1 means that the volcano throws lava and rock masses of 100,000 to 1 million cubic meters up to 1 kilometer high. From VEI 8, a volcano is considered a super volcano. Here, more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of tephra are thrown to altitudes of more than 25 kilometers.

The highest explosivity index in Costa Rica reached in the review period was VEI 3 in 2000. The volcano Arenal threw tephramasses of at least 10 million cubic meters over 3 kilometers high. Volcanoes of this size can theoretically erupt at this intensity every year.

EruptionVolcanoVEIDeathsTotal damage

All volcanoes in Costa Rica

VolcanoElevationStatusLast eruption
Arenal1552 mActive08/23/2000
Barva2894 mActive
Irazu3432 mActive12/10/1963
Miravalles2028 mActive
Orosi1440 mActive
Poas2704 mActive
Ricon de la Vieja1806 mActive
Turrialba3335 mActive

These statistics are based on datas from the Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program (GVP), and the Significant Volcanic Eruptions Database of the National Geophysical Data Center (NOAA) / World Data Service (NGDC/WDS) doi:10.7289/V5JW8BSH. Several data have been summarized and translated.
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