Turrialba Volcano

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A large mountain on the other side of a fence
A view of the mountain
Elevation 3,340 metres (10,958 ft)
Location Cartago, Costa Rica
Range Cordillera Central
Type Stratovolcano
Age of rock 1.5 Million Years
Last eruption May to June 2013
Easiest route hike

Turrialba Volcano is named after its canton, Turrialba, in Costa Rica's Cartago Province. There is no clear consensus on the origin of the name Turrialba, but historians disagree with attempts to attribute the name to the patronym Torrealba (from Aragon in Spain) or from the Latin Turris alba (white tower). The general consensus is that Turrialba derives from a local Indian language (Huetar), but there is no agreement on its actual roots.

The stratovolcano is 3,340 m (10,958 ft) high and is about 45 minutes from the Atlantic slope town of Turrialba. The summit has three craters, one of which has fumaroles and sulfur pits. The largest of the craters has a diameter of 164 feet (50 m). [1] Visitors used to be able to hike down into the main crater, but increased gaseous activity has caused the time at the summit to be limited to no more than fifteen minutes. The hike to the top from where the vans usually are forced to stop takes about one to three hours depending on the ability of the hikers. Below the summit is a mountain range and montane forest, with ferns, bromeliads, lichens and mosses. Most of the forest is either primary or secondary forest.[2]

During the 19th century, the volcano explosively erupted several times (1847?, 1853, 1855, 1861?, 1864–1865, 1866), producing pyroclastic flows. The last major eruption was in 1866, but in January 2001, the volcano reported increased activity, displaying strong fumaroles at the central craters. The volcanic activities have increased since 2005. In January 2010, the volcano emitted ash, and two villages, La Central and El Retiro, were evacuated.[3]

Turrialba is adjacent to Irazú and both are among Costa Rica's largest volcanoes. It had at least five large explosive eruptions in last 3500 years.

A viewing platform (Mirador) and path and steps were built overlooking the crater by volunteers from the charity Raleigh International in 2007. On clear days both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea can be seen.

The three craters of the volcano, the oldest one is to right, the newest and most active is to the left.
Turrialba emits a translucent plume of volcanic gases in this natural-colour satellite image.

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