Overview of the tectonics and geodynamics of Costa Rica: The Pulsing Heart of Central America Volcanic Zone

Paola Vannucchi, Jason Morgan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Although Costa Rica is a relatively small region along the Central American Volcanic Arc (CAVA), its fascinating Geology records several interesting examples of recent arc evolution. The forearc at present is in a state of subduction erosion, ranging from ‘moderate’ longterm rates of ~100km3/km/Ma beneath Nicoya Peninsula to ‘extreme’ short-duration peaks of ~1000km3/km/Ma beneath Osa Peninsula. The margin is currently both seismogenic and tsunamogenic, with seismicity nucleating along one of Earth’s shallowest seismogenic plate interfaces. Here arc volcanism has created much larger volcanic edifices than it has northward along the CAVA. Forearc deformation is ongoing and active, and associated with large-scale erosion and sediment transport towards the trench that is currently being almost entirely trapped in forearc basins prior to the trench axis. Margin evolution is also strongly linked to documented spatial and temporal variations in the incoming Cocos and Nazca Plates. These conditions have had significant consequences for the geochemical evolution of the CAVA in Costa Rica, so that Costa Rica’s active geology records one of Earth’s most diverse and interesting volcanic arcs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPoás volcano (Costa Rica): the pulsing heart of Central America Volcanic Zone
Subtitle of host publicationThe Pulsing Heart of Central America Volcanic Zone
EditorsFranco Tassi, Raul Mora-Amador, Orlando Vaselli
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-02156-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-02155-3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2019

Publication series

NameActive Volcanoes of the World

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