Poás Volcano pp 119-134 | Cite as

Seismicity of Poás Volcano, Costa Rica

  • Mario Fernández-ArceEmail author
  • Raúl Alberto Mora Amador
Part of the Active Volcanoes of the World book series (AVOLCAN)


This chapter summarizes the results of previous studies on the seismicity of Poás volcano and shows its behavior from 1980 to 2006, the last year of analogical recording at the seismic station of the Red Sismológica Nacional (RSN: ICE-UCR) located on the summit of the volcano. A new estimate of the signal frequency for those events occurring between 2007 and 2015 is also shown. The overview is based on the need to understand and classify the seismic signals of the Poás volcano according to the available records, modern instrumentations, and current knowledge about volcanic seismology. This will help to improve the management of volcanic emergencies and interpret changes in seismic activity in the volcano. To carry out the work, we first revised previous publications related to the seismicity of Poás volcano. Then, we analyzed seismic records of the seismic station VPS2 of the Red Sismológica Nacional (RSN: ICE-UCR) and other data generated by temporary seismic networks that were installed in the volcano. Three seismic signals have been clearly identified at Poás volcano: low-frequency events, tremors, and tectonic earthquakes. The most typical ones are low-frequency signals. The low-frequency events occur inside and around the main crater, at shallow depths, in response to vapor pressure. Tremors sporadically occur at Poás before and during the period of perturbation inside the volcano as a consequence of degassing. Swarms of small tectonic earthquakes (frequency = 1–2.5 Hz) also occur within the volcanic area in response to movements in local faults. The seismicity of Poás volcano, especially the low-frequency ones, increases before each eruptive cycle.


Volcanic seismic signals Poás Tremors Low-frequency events 



We would like to thank the Red Sismológica Nacional (RSN: ICE-UCR) for the seismograms used in this investigation. Thanks are also due to the personnel of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) and Parque Nacional Volcán Poás for their help during this study. Our gratitude to Vilma Barboza from the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica (OVSICORI) for providing seismic phases of earthquakes. We are graceful to Dennis Lindwall and an anonymous reviewer for their comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Fernández-Arce
    • 1
    Email author
  • Raúl Alberto Mora Amador
    • 2
  1. 1.Escuela de Geografía, Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), Preventec - UCRSan JoséCosta Rica
  2. 2.Escuela Centroamericana de Geología, Universidad de Costa Rica, Red Sismológica Nacional (ICE-UCR)San JoséCosta Rica

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