Students of Rutgers University of New Jersey, USA, are in Costa Rica working on the project “Geoscience Research at the Cordillera Talamanca” (GREAT), in conjunction with technical and geoscientists of the National Seismology Network (RSN) and the University of Costa Rica’s National Laboratory of Structural Materials and Models (Lanamme) and using the research facilities of Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE).
The GREAT project uses diverse geoscience methods to investigate the origins, current state and the hazard potential of the Cordillera de Talamanca (Talamanca Mountain Range) in southern Costa Rica.
“This region is unique in Central America because of its lack of active volcanism, its extreme (and geologically recent) high elevations, and its history of unusually distributed large earthquakes”, explains the University through the page (https://www.rugreat.aresty.rutgers.edu/).
Yesterday the undergraduate students began the installation of seismology stations, leaving one operating in the area of San Jerónimo, approximately 17 kilometers north of the area of Volcan in Perez Zeledón.
According to the information on the project, the Cordillera de Talamanca is a region of interest for several reasons, “first because it has high peaks which are incredibly young, geologically speaking; in addition to being on a thin strip of land, sandwiched between two different plates, Talamanca also sits on top of a strange culmination of faults which causes the rocks underneath to twist and turn in awkward directions. This is partly what causes the earthquakes that rattle the region periodically. More intriguing however, is the anomalous volcanic activity. The Cordillera de Talamanca cuts through an arc of active volcanoes, there are volcanoes to the left and right of the Cordillera but not at the Cordillera de Talamanca itself. We believe this might have something to do with Coco’s Ridge which is impacting the area”.