September 17th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) The Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (Ovsicori) released a statement confirming an increase in activity at the Arenal Volcano, saying the volcano is “more active in recent days compared to what has been observed in recent years.”
The statement comes just days after OVSICORI initially stated that recent plumes and columns of steam observed rising from the volcano were likely just the result of an increase in rainfall that subsequently made its way into the volcano’s fractures, producing steam as it reached heat sources. OVSICORI also originally stated that “rumbling” sounds heard by area residents were likely falling rocks and debris.
Now, after flyby measurements conducted on September 14th, OVSICORI says Arenal is indeed seeing a period of increased activity.
Researchers said that aerial readings taken at the volcano are consistent with a reduced rate of degasification and heat transfer. This degasification and heat transfer is in large part what has been responsible for the volcano’s slumber for the last three years.
The possibility of an increase in volcanic activity at the volcano has brought a sense of optimism to many 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.