Volcano Arenal in Costa Rica

Volcanos in Costa Rica

At 2 volcanos in Costa Rica there have been a total of 6 siginificant eruptions over the past 100 years. Over 100 people were killed. The worst volcanic eruption in terms of deaths, destroyed houses and financial damages happened on 12/10/1963 at the volcano "Irazu". Only here 40 people died.

All 8 volcanos in Costa Rica are still considered as active.

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Significant volcanic eruptions in Costa Rica in the last 100 years

Volcano Arenal in Costa RicaThe following list shows all volcanoes of the last 100 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 outbreak 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 metres up to 1 kilometre high. From VEI 8 a volcano is considered a super volcano. Here, more than 1000 cubic kilometers of tephra are thrown to altitudes of more than 25 kilometers.

The highest explosivity index in Costa Rica was reached in the review period at 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 volcanos 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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