Barú

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  • Panama
  • Panama
  • Stratovolcano
  • 1550 CE
  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 8.808°N
  • 82.543°W

  • 3474 m
    11395 ft

  • 346010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

There are no activity reports for Barú.



 Available Weekly Reports

There are no Weekly Reports available for Barú.

Summary of eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1550 ± 10 years Unknown Confirmed   Historical Observations
1340 ± 75 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology
1130 ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
0710 ± 30 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
0260 ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
1270 BCE ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
7420 BCE ± 75 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)
9280 BCE ± 30 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)

The following references are the sources used for data regarding this volcano. References are linked directly to our volcano data file. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title. Additional discussion of data sources can be found under Volcano Data Criteria.

Behling H, 2000. A 2860-year high-resolution pollen and charcoal record from the cordillera de Talamanca in Panama: a history of human and volcanic forest disturbance. Holocene, 10: 387-393.

de Boer J Z, Defant M J, Stewart R H, Restrepo J F, Clark L F, Ramirez A H, 1988. Quaternary calc-alkaline volcanism in western Panama: regional variation and implication for the plate tectonic framework. J South Amer Earth Sci, 1: 275-293.

Herrick J A, Siebert L, Rose W I, 2013. Lsarge-volume Barriles and Caisan debris avalanche deposits from Volcan Baru, Panama. In: Rose W I, Palma J L, Escobar Wolf R, Varley N (eds), Understanding Open-Vent Volcanism and Related Hazards. {Geol Soc Amer Spec Pap}, 498: 141-162.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Innocenti F, 1986. Estudios petrologicos adicionales de algunas vulcanitas del sistema Baru y Valle de Anton. IRHE - OLADE, unpublished rpt, 22 p and tables.

Innocenti F, 1985b. Petrografia de la region Baru-Colorado. IRHE - OLADE, upublished rpt, unpaginated.

IRHE, 1987. Final report on the reconnaissance study of geothermal resources in the Republic of Panama. IRHE - OLADE - BID, 72 p.

Linares O F, Sheets P D, Rosenthal E J, 1975. Prehistoric agriculture in tropical highlands. Science, 187: 137-145.

Montessus de Ballore F, 1884. Temblores y Erupciones Volcanicas en Centro-America. San Salvador: F Sagrini, 246 p.

Sapper K, 1917. Katalog der Geschichtlichen Vulkanausbruche. Strasbourg: Karl J Trubner, 358 p.

Sherrod D R, Vallance J W, Tapi Espinosa A, McGeehin J P, 2008. Volcan Baru--eruptive history and volcano-hazards assessment. U S Geol Surv Open-File Rpt, 2007-1401: 1-33, 1 plate, scale 1:100,000..

Siebert L, Alvarado G E, Vallance J W, van Wyk de Vries B, 2006. Large-volume volcanic edifice failures in Central America and associated hazards. In: Rose W I, Bluth G J S, Carr M J, Ewert J W, Patino L C, Vallance J W (eds), Volcanic hazards in Central America, {Geol Soc Amer Spec Pap}, 412: 1-26.

Universidad Tecnologica Panama, 1992. Evaluacion de la amenaza, estimacion de la vulnerabilidad y del factor costo de riesgo del Volcan Baru, Republica de Panama. Univ Tecnologica Panama, Fac Ingenieria Civil - CEPREDENAC, 129 p and 1:100,000 scale map.

The westernmost volcano in Panamá, Barú, is a complex dominantly andesitic stratovolcano in the Talamanca Range near the Costa Rica border. The forested 3474-m-high volcano (also referred to as Volcán de Chiriqui) is the highest peak in Panamá, and the summit now bristles with communication towers. A large 6-km-wide summit caldera breached widely to the west was formed by a large volcanic landslide, which created a massive debris-avalanche deposit about 9000 years ago that extends onto the Pacific coastal plain, largely overlying deposits of an earlier late-Pleistocene debris avalanche. Post-collapse eruptions have constructed lava domes inside the caldera that have grown to a height exceeding that of the caldera rim. A strong explosive eruption at about 700 CE ended human occupation at the Cerro Punta archaeological site NW of the volcano. Montessus de Ballore (1884) reported a strong eruption at Barú in the mid-16th century. Sapper (1917) considered this report to be uncertain, but radiocarbon dates subsequently imply tephra deposits younger than about 500 years. Volcán Barú is the youngest major volcano in Panamá, and geothermal exploration projects have been undertaken to determine its energy potential.