The International Union of Geological Sciences inscribed the Poás Volcano National Park on its list of World Geological Heritage sites (IUGS).
The decision to include it on the list was made after a review of 181 nominations from 56 countries by 33 international experts.
The National Park’s candidacy was submitted by Adolfo Quesada, professor and researcher at the University of Costa Rica’s School of Geography, and Dennis Pérez, independent geographer and consultant. Several studies on the country’s geo-heritage, geo-conservation, and geo-tourism have been conducted.
Poas Volcano is “an iconic and type example of an arc shield-like massive stratovolcano and active crater lake complex.”
The volcano is described as a “huge arc volcano-tectonic massif, large” in an IUGS publication.
The volcano is described as a “huge arc volcano-tectonic massif, large enough to deform gravitationally under its own weight (Borgia et al., 1990)” and “one of the most studied volcanoes in Central America, but also a global tourist attraction” in an IUGS publication. Furthermore, the Poas Volcano is designated as a “globally significant geosciences site.”
Poás was joined by the Grand Canyon in the United States, the Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina, the Santorini caldera in Greece, and Uluru in Australia.
“They are places that contributed to the advancement of geology science.” They are the best examples of the planet’s geological features and processes on the planet. “These locations represent fantastic discoveries about the Earth and its history,” said IUGS.
The volcano is in a seismic zone (caused by its presence) and is extremely rainy, which causes landslides that influence its shape. It acts as a barrier for winds and humidity traveling from the Caribbean to the Pacific. Furthermore, its elevation encourages the presence of certain types of forest.
“The vegetation is influenced by the climate.” “There are many unique species of flora and fauna in this National Park,” Quesada said.
Scientists, on the other hand, are drawn to the crater lake due to its activity. Phreatic eruptions have occurred, with columns rising hundreds of meters and ejecting volcanic materials and water.
“The Poás itself is an Earth Sciences laboratory.” Climate, geology, volcanism, tectonics, geomorphology, soil evolution, vegetation, and biodiversity can all be studied,” Quesada concluded.
Chirripó, according to Costa Rican researchers, will be the next Costa Rican candidate for World Geological Heritage status.