An underwater colossus the size of our Miravalles volcano is moving towards our Central Pacific coast and causing earthquakes as it gets closer to the shores of Costa Rica.
Three articles written by Carlos Arguedas and published in La Nacion on Sunday mention the results of years of oceanic and seismic research that culminated in theories posited by scientists at our National Seismology Network (RSN in Spanish). The underwater mountain ridge is known as the Quepos Plateau, and it is located on the Cocos tectonic plate. It is currently located 75 kilometers southwest of the port city of Quepos, and it moves at a rate of about 9 centimeters a year.
By RSN estimates, movement of the Quepos Plateau was responsible for 310 earthquakes last year, out of which only 10 were felt by the population. La Nacion reports that, in fact, there was an earthquake recorded yesterday with an epicenter located 13 kilometers south of Quepos and with a magnitude 4 on the Richter scale.
The German Research Vessel Sonne was instrumental in the underwater topographical studies performed, which read like the script of a James Cameron film.
Our mountainous ocean floor has been the subject of scientific research since the 1960s. Investigative results recently published by the RSN indicate that the Quepos Plateau measures about 100 kilometers in length, and it moves around as it continues its slow approach towards our Pacific shore.
The Quepos Plateau sits uncomfortably close to the Caribbean tectonic plate, and should there an earthquake magnitude 6 or 7 where the two natural structures meet, a tsunami would ensue.
The massive Cocos underwater mountain ridge measures about 780 km in length and comes to an end around our elegant Isla del Coco. These structures are very likely to be rich in frozen methane, a very precious source of energy. In a previous article in The Costa Rica Star, the presence of “fire ice” and its origins in the Costa Rica Dome and phytoplankton were discussed.
When these underwater colossi fully surface in the future, we may just have to add the Cocos Mountain Range to our Central, Guanacaste and Talamanca Ranges.