Tectonic Structure of the Pacific Margin of Costa Rica (Draft 1)

This discussion topic submitted by Scott Wankel (wankelsd@miamioh.edu) on 4/9/98.

I would like to talk about the convergent margin on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Specifically, I will focus on the Cocos Plate and its shallow subduction under the Panama microplate. Typically, convergent margins (two colliding plates - usually the oceanic plate is subducted under the continental plate) form an volcanic island arc on the back of the margin (inland). However, becuase of some of interesting features of the oceanic crust in this area, there have been some unique tectonic developments seen in Costa Rica.

Understanding of the tectonic processess which formed Costa Rica gives researchers in a variety of fields a necessary foundation for understanding biological, geomorphological and ecological issues. Besides, geology is cool!

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