Barva Volcano | John Seach


Costa Rica

10.13 N, 84.10 W
summit elevation 2906 m
complex volcano

Barva Volcano is located in central Costa Rica. It is a composite, dormant, andesitic shield volcano. The volcano contains a complex form with many craters and parasitic cones. There is a 800 m wide crater near the summit which contains a lake.

Barva volcano covers an area of 1,500 sq km and has two major calderas. Barva caldera is 10 km in diameter, with a rim 140–320 m above the floor. The rim is eroded in the east and northeast. The second caldera structure is 15 km in diameter, and older than Barva caldera based on the degree of erosion. The
rim of this caldera is open to the NE and the eastern rim is affected by faulting.

Tiribí Tuff
The caldera-forming eruption of Tiribí Tuff 322,000 years ago, is the most explosive event recorded in Costa Rica. Barva volcano has been identified as the source of the Tiribí Tuff. The Tiribí Tuff comprises pyroclastic deposits that crop out in the lower SW flanks of Barva volcano. It is the most widespread, recent and well exposed ignimbrite in central Costa Rica. It has a volume of 25 cubic km, and covers an area of 820 sq km. The thickness of the upper ash-flow sheet is about 100 m (average 30 m).

The Tiribí Tuff eruption highlights the danger posed by Barva volcano to the 2.4 million people living around the volcano.

Further reading
Quesada-Román, A. and Mata-Cambronero, E., 2020. The geomorphic landscape of the Barva volcano, Costa Rica. Physical Geography, pp.1-18.

Soto, G.J. and Arredondo, S.G., 2007. Chronostratigraphic summary of Barva Formation (Costa Rica). Bulletin of Volcanology69, pp.25-40.

Barva Volcano Eruptions

Possible eruption of Barva Volcano in 1867