Costa Rica Earthquake Kennedy Boyle

Earthquake Chrarcateristics

This Costa Rican earthquake occurred on September 5th, 2012. The magnitude was 7.6 and the depth was 40.2 km. Here is a map of recent earthquakes in the region, a map of the tectonic setting, and a seismograph.

The eastward movement of the Cocos tectonic plate forces it underneath the Caribbean plate, along whose western edge the Central American volcanic arc is located. The subduction of this plate creates a offshore ocean trench and as the crust is dragged downwards, friction is generated and earthquakes occur. This is a convergent boundary, because the Cocos tectonic plate forces it underneath the Caribbean plate. This is an ocean to ocean convergent boundary. The speed is 81 mm/yr.

Effects on population and economy

Two people killed, one from a heart attack and one from a collapsed wall. At least 169 houses were damaged. 55,000 people were deprived of running water. 56 schools had to be demolished and rebuilt. After the earthquake, 56 schools in the country would have to be taken down and rebuilt at the cost of 3 billion dollars. The final bill would have to be higher though, because many other schools suffered lesser damage which also requires repair. According to a preliminary estimation from the Costa Rican government, the earthquake caused a loss of about 22.36 billion dollars.

Elevation on land and sea

In the heart of the temperate Central Highlands, the Meseta Central is an expansive valley at an average elevation of 5,000 feet above sea level. Costa Rica is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. The Caribbean Sea has a depth of 25,220 feet. The North Pacific ocean reaches depths of 35,797 ft.

Major landforms and bodies of water, rivers, and glaciers

Most of Costa Rica is dominated by the Sierra Madre mountains, literally fractured into individual ranges and valleys by violent volcanic eruptions over eons of time. Speaking of volcanoes, the country's most active one (cone-shaped Arenal), located in the Tilaran Mountains erupts in some measure almost every day. Costa Rica has many major bodies of water. There are any lakes and rivers, including Lake Arenal, The Pacuare River, and The Celeste River. There are Glacial lake sediments and glacial geomorphology in Valle de las Morrenas, a glacial trough on the north face of Cerro Chirripó, Costa Rica. The most recent glacier in the valley (Chirripó stage I) receded very rapidly near the end of the Younger Dryas chronozone.

The populations primary way of life, the percentage of urban professional, the percentage of urban and rural industrial, and the percentage of rural agrarian

Costa Rica has a large, professional middle class, and a relatively equal distribution of wealth. The urban population in 2015 was 76.8 percent. In 2014, 5.2 percent of the economy was agricultural. The urban population in 2014 was 75.9 percent and the rural percentage is 24.1 percent.

Major ecosystems, forests, deserts, and grasslands

Costa Rica has tropical dry forests and tropical rainforests. There are also cloud forests in Costa Rica. A tropical rainforest is Santa Elena National Park cloud forest. There are no desert regions in Costa Regions and there are temperate grasslands.

Climate, average temperatures, seasonal changes, major weather patterns, and what season did the earthquake occurred in

The Pacific coast around Guanacaste is hot and dry, perfect for the many world-class beaches. Costa Rica itself has an average temperature of 70 F to 81 F. Due to its proximity to the equator, it has no real summer or winter. It does however have a rainy season from May to November. There are seasonal temperatures and fluctuating trade winds. During much of the dry season, trade winds arrive from the northeast. During the rainy season, the northeast trade winds diminish and moist air arrives from the Pacific, bringing rain to much of the country. In this season, the Pacific coast is rainy while the caribbean coast is warm and dry. The earthquake occurred in the rainy (winter) season.

Population statistics and distribution

In 2013, there were 4.872 people in Costa Rica. In 2009, Costa Rica had a population of 4,579,000. The population is increasing at a rate of 1.5% per year. At current trends the population will increase to 9,158,000 in about 46 years. The population density is 94 people per square km, the third highest in Central America.

Other features, properties, and unique events surrounding the earthquake

Most of Costa Rica is dominated by the Sierra Madre mountains, literally fractured into individual ranges and valleys by violent volcanic eruptions over eons of time. Costa Rica's territorial division includes 7 provinces, which are: San José, Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia, Guanacaste, Puntarenas, and Limón.One of the most colorful and dramatic Costa Rican celebrations is the Festival of the Little Devils in February. The Boruca put on masks representing devils and do stylized battle with the invading Spanish. These festivals occur near the epicenter of where the earthquake occurred, the Nicoya Peninsula.

Cultural History

The first European explorer to encounter Costa Rica was the Christopher Columbus. The day was September 18, 1502, and Columbus was making his fourth and final voyage to the New World.

Major population centers affected by the earthquake

The maximum intensity was reached in Nosara near the epicenter. Some 1,650 aftershocks occurred in the following five days, including one of 5.4 magnitude about 13 km southeast of Playa Sámara on September 8 at.

How earthquakes have been a part of the community prior to this event

Costa Rica has experienced many earthquakes in the past. An earthquake occurs every few years and they range from a magnitude of 5.7 to 7.6.

Citations

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Credits:

Created with images by kansasphoto - "HDR Sunset, Costa Rica" • trishhartmann - "Rio Aguajitas, Costa Rica" • over_kind_man - "Sunset at Playa Tamarindo, Tamarindo, Costa Rica, December 30 2009." • rsasse63 - "costa rica pacific beach"

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