Volcano Research in Costa Rica

See a poster of this research.

Costa Rica in southern Central America has several active volcanoes that are part of the Pacific “ring of fire.” Volcan Turrialba is the southernmost active volcano in Costa Rica. The last major explosive eruption of Turrialba was around 1866 but there is ongoing fumarole activity in the summit crater. Professor Ron Cole and three Allegheny students, Jeff Thomas ’03, Melissa Kammerer ’06, and David Kratzmann (Australia exchange student) conducted a study of Volcan Turrialba over spring break in 2003. This project was initiated as a research-based independent study course designed to provide an advanced learning experience for students with strong interests in volcanology. Results of this study include characterizing the nature of pyroclastic activity in the summit crater and verifying the presence of adakites, which indicate a unique origin of Turrialba magmas; results are published in Kratzmann et al. (2004) and Thomas and Cole (2004).