The Turrialba volcano is creating acidic conditions in the Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo and in the vicinity of the Barva volcano, researchers report.
The gas put out by the volcano sometimes mixes with rain or just precipitates into the vegetation.
Researchers from the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica at Universidad Nacional said they found Ph readings of 4.11 to 4.85 at these locations. A reading of 7.0 is neutral. The lower the number the higher is the acidity.
The Turrialba plume of the gas frequently extends in that direction, although it shifts according to the wind patterns.
The nearby Irazú volcano also puts out acidic gases, although not usually as a volcanic plume. The landscape
around Irazú is devastated by the acidity. The gases come through cracks in the exterior of the volcanic cone.
Both mountains have been active over the past year.
The observatory researchers said that the main victim of the acidic condition is the vegetation and the general environment. They also expressed concern about ground water sources.
They said they expect to do more studies.
The study was done by putting a container to collect water at Cacho de Venado between Sept. 7 and Nov. 18. The results were analyzed by the observatory’s Laboratorio de Geoquímica Volcánica. The researchers were Jorge Brenes, María Martínez and Alejandro Villalobos.
Volcanos put out sulfur and other potentially acidic chemicals.