Geochemical and Geochronological Characterisation of the Poas Stratovolcano Stratigraphy

  • Paulo RuizEmail author
  • Sara Mana
  • Esteban Gazel
  • Gerardo J. Soto
  • Michael J. Carr
  • Guillermo E. Alvarado
Part of the Active Volcanoes of the World book series (AVOLCAN)


In this chapter the stratigraphy of Poás volcano by using geological, petrographical, geochronological and geochemical analyses on the volcanic products erupted during the last 600 ka is defined. The northern flank of Poás consists of the following Units and Members: Río Sarapiquí, La Paz, Puente de Mulas Member (possibly from another source, though interdigitated with Poás products), Río Cuarto Lavas, Von Frantzius, Congo, Bosque Alegre and Laguna Kopper. The products on the southern flank are the Colima Formation, La Paz, Tiribí, Achiote, Poasito, Sabana Redonda and Poás Lapilli Tuff. The central part of the volcano is made up of the Poás Summit Unit, which includes the Main and Botos craters. Rock composition varies from basalts to dacites. During the last 600 ka the content of K2O and other oxides (e.g. TiO2 and P2O5) and trace elements (e.g. Zr, Ba) has varied significantly through time, implying the presence of two geochemical end-members since the beginning of the magmatic activity at Poás: (1) the Sabana Redonda Geochemical Component (TiO2 > 1%) enriched in HSFE and other trace elements, present in La Paz Andesites, Lavas Río Cuarto, Poasito, Sabana Redonda, Poás Lapilli Tuff and Botos crater lavas and (2) The Von Frantzius Geochemical Component (TiO2 < 0.8%) that was recognized in the lavas from the Main Crater, Von Frantzius, Achiote, Bosque Alegre, Congo and Botos. Lavas related to both magmatic components have coexisted over time as indicated by those found at Botos and the Main Crater. Units possibly related to a common vent, i.e. La Paz, Achiote and Main Crater, the percentages of K2O and TiO2 decreased through time.


Poás volcano Volcano stratigraphy Volcano growth Subduction zone 



We would like to thank Dr. Tyrone Rooney from the Department of Geological Sciences at Michigan State University for the new geochemical analyses presented in this chapter. Carolina Suárez and Amalia Gutiérrez from Lanamme UCR and several people from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University and ICE who collaborated during this work. We thank Gianfilippo de Astis and Marinella Laurenzi for their insightful reviews, which greatly improved this manuscript.

Supplementary material

318378_1_En_2_MOESM1_ESM.docx (56.8 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 58145 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paulo Ruiz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sara Mana
    • 2
  • Esteban Gazel
    • 3
  • Gerardo J. Soto
    • 4
  • Michael J. Carr
    • 5
  • Guillermo E. Alvarado
    • 6
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Materiales y Modelos EstructuralesUniversidad de Costa RicaSan JoséCosta Rica
  2. 2.Department of Geological SciencesSalem State UniversitySalemUSA
  3. 3.Earth and Atmospheric ScienceCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  4. 4.Terra Cognita ConsultoresSan JoséCosta Rica
  5. 5.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesRutgers UniversityPiscatawayUSA
  6. 6.Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE)San JoséCosta Rica

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