Volcan Turrialba (~11,000 feet) caked in cloud frosting hat brought on by some crazy violent winds. This shot was taken from the top of Volcan Irazu in a wind so fierce I could barely hold the camera still. When I arrived at Irazu it was smeared in a thick coating of chilly mist. I put on all my clothes to venture out to the crater rim. A group of Costa Rican school boys huddled in the bathroom and cursed. I waited as long as a could and bought some coffee.
Why is it that there is a coffee stand or ice-cream kid at the top of every volcano in Central America…?
It took about an hour for the wind to kick up to about 50 mph and clear the clouds away. If anyone out there can explain how that wind shaped the clouds over Volcan Turriabla, I’ll gladly buy you a beer.
Volcan Turrialba is a “stratovolcano”:
A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a conical volcano built up by many layers (strata) of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and volcanic ash. Unlike shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes are characterized by a steep profile and periodic explosive eruptions and quiet eruptions, although there are some with collapsed craters called calderas. The lava that flows from stratovolcanoes typically cools and hardens before spreading far due to high viscosity. The magma forming this lava is often felsic, having high-to-intermediate levels of silica (as in rhyolite, dacite, or andesite), with lesser amounts of less-viscous mafic magma. Extensive felsic lava flows are uncommon, but have travelled as far as 15 km (9.3 mi).
Volcan Turrialba last erupted in 1866. In 2001 it started rumbling again. In 2005 it kicked off another round of activity that built up to a small 2010 eruption of ash that resulted in the evacuation of two of the small villages on its flanks.
Meanwhile…down in the cloud forest….hummingbirds…..
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