Geological Aspects of Costa Rica

This topic submitted by Bryan Glosik ( at 11:53 PM on 3/25/04.

Some of the students captured and released a Magnificent Green Turtle in Snow Bay, San Salvador, Bahamas. See other beautiful phenomena from the Bahamas.

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University

My presentation for Costa Rica will discuss the tectonic and geological aspects of the country. It will compose of everything ranging from its mountain ranges, biodiversity at various elevations, geographic divisions, volcanic activity, and other natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and landslides. I will spend a large portion of it discussing specifically the orogenesis of Arenal Volcano and the mountains that surround it. It will explain the subducting of the oceanic plate underneath the continental plate creating the mountains and volcanos.

I.Geographic Divisions of Costa Rica
A.Tropical Lowlands
B.North Central Plains
C.Central Valley
D.Northwest Penninsula
II.Mountain Ranges
A.Cordilleras de Talamanca
B.Central Volcanic
C.Tilaran Range
D.Guanacaste Range
III.Biodiversity At Elevations
A.Monteverde Cloud Forests
IV.Arenal Volcano
A.Subduction of the Cocos and Carribean Plates
B.Explosive type of Volcano
C.Last major explosion was in 1968
V.Other natural disasters due to its location


Kricher, John A Neotropical Companion. Princeton University Press. Princeton, NJ. 1997.

Christopherson W., Robert Geosystems: An Introduction to Physical Geography. Pearson Education Inc. Upper Saddle River, NJ. 2003

Mongomery W., Carla Environmetnal Geology. McGraw Hill SanFrancisco. 2003

Costa Rica
Richard Garrigues 1996.

The Geography of Costa Rica
Rara Avis 1995.

International Development Research Center

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