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Evidence for Caribbean Plate subduction in southern Costa Rica

James R. Bourke, Vadim Levin, Ivonne G. Arroyo and Lepolt Linkimer
Evidence for Caribbean Plate subduction in southern Costa Rica
Geology (Boulder) (April 2023) 51 (4): 408-412


Nestled between the Cocos, Nazca, Caribbean, and South American plates, the Panama microplate represents an area of rapidly evolving tectonics throughout the past approximately 10 m.y. Past and current studies have observed a notable amount of seismicity throughout this region, in particular the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, which experienced a M (sub w) 7.7 earthquake in 1991 CE. We investigated the crust and upper mantle structure of this region using the receiver function methodology and report two results: (1) first-order lateral constraints on the position of the Panama microplate boundary near the intersection between the Central Costa Rica Deformed Belt (onshore) and North Panama Deformed Belt (offshore), and (2) an impedance contrast south and east of these belts, supporting that the Caribbean plate currently subducts beneath the Panama microplate. Observed local seismicity is a consequence of the recently (ca. 14 Ma) initiated Caribbean plate subduction beneath the overlying Panama microplate. Our results are also consistent with a doubly convergent subduction margin dominating southern Costa Rica tectonics, uplifting the Talamanca Cordillera, and causing the cessation of southern Costa Rica volcanism over the past approximately 10 m.y.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 51
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Evidence for Caribbean Plate subduction in southern Costa Rica
Affiliation: Rutgers University, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Piscataway, NJ, United States
Pages: 408-412
Published: 202304
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 34
Accession Number: 2023-033511
Categories: Solid-earth geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sect., geol. sketch map
N10°00'00" - N10°00'00", W84°00'00" - W83°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Universidad de Costa Rica, CRI, Costa Rica
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2023, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 2023
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