September 11th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) For the last three days, locals in La Fortuna de San Carlos have reported that they believe the Arenal Volcano might be awaking from a period of low activity, saying they have heard rumblings and have taken photos of plumes of vapor emerging from the volcano.
The possibility of an increase in volcanic activity at the volcano has brought a sense of optimism to some in the community, which depends highly on tourism but has seen a fall-off in tourists since the volcano went essentially dormant three years ago.
However, experts are cautioning not to get too excited. The Volcanolgical and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) said that the plumes are steam containing mostly water, which may be the result of a recent increase in rainfall that subsequently makes its way into the fractures of the volcano, producing steam when it reaches het sources.
OVSICORI noted that plumes of steam have appeared frequently in the last few years, especially when rainfall increases, and ruled out the possibility of magmatic gas emissions.
OVSICORI Volconalogist, Geofrey Avard added that the phenomenon in recent days is not due to an increase Arenal’s activity.
Experts also added that there has been no recorded seismic activity at the volcano, and the ‘rumblings’ were likely falling rocks and boulders after recent heavy rains.