Mud Floods Related to the Irazu Volcano Eruptions

by Carlos A. Ulate,
Manuel F. Corrales,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1966, Vol. 92, Issue 6, Pg. 117-129

Document Type: Journal Paper


The ash erupted by the Irazu Volcano in Costa Rica during its period of explosive activity, 1963–65, destroyed the vegetation of the Reventado River upper basin* The direct consequence of this destruction was the occurrence of mud floods with high peak discharges from a mountainous watershed with only 22.4 sq km (8.7 sq miles) of drainage basin. These mud floods are threatening the city of Cartago (18,000 inhabitants). Twenty persons were killed by the mud waves, and economic losses were almost $15,000,000. An explanation of this phenomenon, the date from analysis of sediment samples, and a possible solution to the mud flood problem are evaluated.

Subject Headings: Drainage basins | Mud | Floods | Volcanic eruption | Volcanic deposits | Developing countries | Explosions | Vegetation | Costa Rica | Central America

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