Poás Volcano pp 235-260 | Cite as

The Last Eighteen Years (1998–2014) of Fumarolic Degassing at the Poás Volcano (Costa Rica) and Renewal Activity

  • Orlando VaselliEmail author
  • Franco Tassi
  • Tobias P. Fischer
  • Daniele Tardani
  • Erick Fernández
  • María del Mar Martínez
  • Marteen J. de Moor
  • Giulio Bini
Part of the Active Volcanoes of the World book series (AVOLCAN)


This chapter reviews the geochemical and isotopic data from the fumarolic gas discharges collected in a discontinuous mode from 1998 to 2014 at Poás volcano. During this period, the “Tico” volcano experienced a renewed phreatic activity that started in 2006 after a couple of decades of relative quiescence. In January 2009, a 6.2 Mw earthquake hit the village of Cinchona, which is located a 4 km to the east of Poás. As the phreatic activity kept evolving, the hyperacidic lake (“Laguna Caliente”) dried out and the high-temperature fumaroles that previously were likely entering the lake were revealed, though not accessible. The pyroclastic dome that formed in the early fifties was destroyed at the beginning of 2017 by several relatively small phreatomagmatic (strombolian and vulcanian type) small-size eruptions. The risk of sudden phreatic and phreato-magmatic events prevented the direct sampling of the fumaroles and as a consequence, no geochemical data were sampled in the last three years. Nevertheless, interesting hints were recorded by the gas geochemistry before the 2006 phreatic activity and the 2009 Cinchona seismic events, mainly based on the temporal variations of the H2S/SO2, H2/H2O, H2/Ar, CO/CO2, CH4/CO2 and HCl/HF ratios. However, in most cases the geochemical record is not complete since the gas discharging vents migrated or stopped their activity and new fumaroles formed up to the recent visual observations.


Poás volcano Fluid geochemistry Volcanic hazard High-temperature fumaroles Volcanic gases Phreatic eruptions 



We are indebted with the OVSICORI personnel for the help during the many sampling campaigns that we carried out in the Costa Rica volcanoes, particularly at Poás. This work was financially supported by a bilateral project between CNR and OVSICORI and by the Laboratories of Fluid Geochemistry and Stable Isotope Geochemistry of the Department of Earth Sciences (University of Florence) and CNR-IGG of Florence. OV and FT wish to express their gratitude to Eliecer Duarte (OVSICORI) for the sampling activity and the nice time we had together inside the crater of Poás. We hope that our collaboration can keep going on.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Orlando Vaselli
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Franco Tassi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tobias P. Fischer
    • 3
  • Daniele Tardani
    • 4
  • Erick Fernández
    • 5
  • María del Mar Martínez
    • 5
  • Marteen J. de Moor
    • 5
  • Giulio Bini
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.CNR Institute of Geosciences and Earth ResourcesFlorenceItaly
  3. 3.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  4. 4.Departamento de GeologíaSantiagoChile
  5. 5.Volcanological and Seismological ObservatoryOVSICORI-UNAHerediaCosta Rica

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