Sleeping Giants, Mount Arenal and Cerro Chato

July 31, 2020

Photographer: Russell Losco
Summary Author: Russell Losco

Mount Arenal is the youngest of Costa Rica’s volcanoes, being only about 40,000 years old and is part of the northernmost portion of the Cordillera de Tilaran. It’s an andesite stratovolcano that had erupted in the past, but all of these eruptions were pre-European contact, with the last one around 1500. Although it started showing some signs of activity in 1937, Arenal was considered to be a dormant volcano until 1968, when it erupted violently, wiping out three villages, killing 87 people and covering 6 sq miles (15 sq km) with pyroclastic material and lumpy, andesitic basalt lava. Arenal (5,436 ft or 1,657 m) erupted from 1968 until 2010 when it entered a quiescent phase. Cerro Chato, Arenal’s smaller sibling, is located approximately three kilometers to the south and is a truncated volcanic cone that appears to be extinct. Photo taken on July 8, 2017.

Photo Details: Camera Panasonic DMC-FZ70; Exposure Time 0.0020s (1/500); Aperture ƒ/4.2; ISO equivalent 200; Focal Length (35mm) 69.