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Costa Rican Ecosystems$
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Maarten Kappelle

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226121505

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226121642.001.0001

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Geology, Tectonics, and Geomorphology of Costa Rica: A Natural History Approach

Geology, Tectonics, and Geomorphology of Costa Rica: A Natural History Approach

(p.30) Chapter 3 Geology, Tectonics, and Geomorphology of Costa Rica: A Natural History Approach
Costa Rican Ecosystems

Guillermo E. Alvarado

Guaria Cárdenes

University of Chicago Press

This chapter presents a synopsis of the geology of Costa Rica with an emphasis on the most recent history, particularly the Quaternary and within that the Holocene. After providing an overview of the tectonic basis for Costa Rica’s complex geology, the majority of the chapter consists of an up-to-date account of the main morphotectonic regions, summarizing the geology and geomorphology of each, and well as the results of several recent surveys of marine geology. The chapter also presents a summary of the fossil mammals and plants that have been reported as well as a discussion of paleoenvironments and climate change during the Pleistocene and Holocene. The chapter ends with a brief summary of Costa Rica’s geological history from 170 million years ago at the final separation of North and South America to 2011 with the renewed dormancy of the Arenal volcano.

Keywords:   Costa Rica, tectonic, geology, geomorphology, fossils, paleoenvironments, climate change, pleistocene, holocene, natural history

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