Volcano Photos

Rincon De La Vieja volcano, Costa Rica

Rincon De La Vieja volcano, Costa Rica, Volcano photo

Rincon de la Vieja volcano, Costa Rica

Part of the complex summit region of Rincon de la Vieja, the largest volcano in NW Costa Rica, is seen here from the north.

Steam rises from the lake-filled Crater Activo at the left, ENE of the shallow 1895-m-high Von Seebach crater (upper right).

Laguna Fria (upper left) is not a crater lake, but a freshwater lake that formed between overlapping cones of the summit complex, which extends east and west beyond the area of this photo.

Frequent historical eruptions from Crater Activo have left surrounding terrain unvegetated and scarred by erosional gullies.

Rincon de la Vieja, the largest volcano in NW Costa Rica, is a remote volcanic complex in the Guanacaste Range.

The volcano consists of an elongated, arcuate NW-SE-trending ridge that was constructed within the 15-km-wide early Pleistocene Guachipelin caldera, whose rim is exposed on the south side.

Rincon de la Vieja, sometimes known as the "Colossus of Guanacaste," has an estimated volume of 130 cu km and contains at least 9 major eruptive centers.

Activity has migrated to the SE, where the youngest-looking craters are located.

The twin cone of 1916-m-high Santa Maria volcano, the highest peak of the Rincon complex, is located at the eastern end of a smaller, 5-km-wide caldera and has a 500-m-wide crater.

A plinian eruption producing the 0.25 cu km Rio Blanca tephra about 3500 years ago was the last major magmatic eruption from the volcano.

All subsequent eruptions, including numerous historical eruptions possibly dating back to the 16th century, have been from the prominent crater containing a 500-m-wide acid lake (known as the Active Crater) located ENE of Von Seebach crater.

PHOTO SOURCE:Photo by Federico Chavarria Kopper, 1999

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