Impact craters created by the rocky material expelled by the active crater of the Turrialba volcano. (Pnhoto courtesy of Raul Mora)
The image of lava pouring out of the crater is one that comes to mind when we think of active volcano and eruptions. Although incandescent material has been observed in the mount of the volcano, the Turrialba has yet to spew lava.
That does not mean that the Turrialba is a tame volcano. Quite the contrary, the volcano within a slingshot of the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) of San Jose, is explosive and dangerous.
In fact, it is currently recording pyroplastic flows – hot clouds composed of gases, solid materials and trapped air from the crater moving rapidly down the slopes – which can reach temperatures of