Geomorphology and Volcanology of Costa Rica

Geomorphology and Volcanology of Costa Rica

1st Edition - January 30, 2017

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  • Author: Jean Pierre Bergoeing
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128120675
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128122471

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Geomorphology and Volcanology of Costa Rica is the product of more than 30 years of research explaining the evolution of the quaternary relief of a geomorphologically diverse country. The book details the physical landscape of Costa Rica, with an emphasis on potential threats to the landscape, such as earthquakes, landslides, floods, and sea level rise. The book answers questions on the climate changes associated with the intense volcanism that affects this country. Geomorphologists, geologists, geographers, and students who specialize in the Earth Sciences will benefit from knowing the geomorphology of Costa Rica, not only as a case study, but also for the lessons it offers on climate change and worldwide geological history.

Key Features

  • Includes graphs, maps, and photos that illustrate the most relevant phenomena
  • Provides detailed description of the different regions of the country, each with its own tectonic and modeling characteristics
  • Offers a detailed presentation of the geomorphological characteristics of Costa Rica


Geomorphologists, geologists, geographers, exploration geologists, volcanologists, seismologists

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. Major Structural Units of Costa Rica

    • 1. Northern Plains Extension of the Nicaragua Graben
    • 2. Guanacaste and Central Quaternary Volcanic Ranges
    • 3. Tempisque River Tectonic Depression
    • 4. Tilaran’s Tertiary Mountain Range
    • 5. Talamanca Mountain Range
    • 6. The Pacific Littoral
    • 7. The Caribbean Littoral

    Chapter 2. Natural Shape Types in Costa Rica

    • 1. Paleoglacier and Paleonival Forms
    • 2. Multifaceted Shapes
    • 3. Multiconvex Modeling
    • 4. Piedmont Accumulation Shapes
    • 5. Large Quaternary Volcano Shapes
    • 6. Floodplain Shapes

    Chapter 3. Regional Study of Large Morphological Units and the Coast

    • 1. Volcanic Morphology
    • 2. Barbilla Volcanic Sector
    • 3. Moravia del Chirripó Caldera
    • 4. Ending Tertiary Volcanism
    • 5. Late Tertiary Volcanic Cone Evidence on Talamanca’s Southwest Slopes

    Chapter 4. The Central Volcanic Mountain Range

    • 1. Platanar–Porvenir Volcanic Complex
    • 2. Poas Volcanic Structure
    • 3. Congo Volcano
    • 4. Barva Volcano
    • 5. Molejon Collapsed Caldera
    • 6. Cacho Negro Volcano
    • 7. Santa Clara Caldera
    • 8. Irazu Volcano
    • 9. Las Nubes Volcano, Part of the Irazu Complex
    • 10. Flores Volcanic Complex
    • 11. Turrialba Volcano

    Chapter 5. Central Valley Geomorphology

    • 1. Eastern Central Valley
    • 2. Reventazon River
    • 3. Western Central Valley
    • 4. Central Valley Morphogenesis

    Chapter 6. Tilaran Mountain Range

    • 1. Northeast Watershed or San Carlos Slope
    • 2. Tilaran Southwest Watershed
    • 3. Mount Turrubares Volcano Sector

    Chapter 7. Guanacaste Volcanic Mountain Range

    • 1. El Hacha Volcanic Ruins
    • 2. Orosí Volcano
    • 3. Cacao Volcano
    • 4. Rincon de la Vieja Volcano
    • 5. Miravalles Volcano and Guayabo Collapsed Caldera
    • 6. Guayabo Caldera
    • 7. Tenorio Volcano
    • 8. Lake Arenal Sector

    Chapter 8. Geomorphology of Guanacaste

    • 1. Nicoya Peninsula
    • 2. Tempisque River Tectonic Depression
    • 3. The Ignimbrite Plateau

    Chapter 9. Coastal Geomorphology of Costa Rica

    • 1. The Pacific Coast
    • 2. Pacific Littoral Morphology
    • 3. Nicoya Peninsula Littoral
    • 4. Nicoya Gulf Sector
    • 5. Puntarenas Sea Arrow
    • 6. The Central Pacific Littoral of Costa Rica
    • 7. Baru River–Coronado Elevated Coast Sector
    • 8. The Pacific Southeast Coast Sector of Costa Rica
    • 9. Basalt and Sandstone Littoral Platform Morphology
    • 10. Cyclic Origin Levels
    • 11. The Caribbean Coast

    Chapter 10. Cocos Island Geomorphology

    • 1. An Eminently Volcanic Island

    Chapter 11. Costa Rica Quaternary Chronology Proposal

    • 1. Fluvial Levels
    • 2. Tilaran Pacific Watershed Alluvial Fans
    • 3. Caribbean Coast Paleocliffs
    • 4. The Lower Quaternary (2,000,000 to 300,000 Years BP)
    • 5. The Middle Quaternary
    • 6. The Upper Quaternary

Product details

  • No. of pages: 290
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2017
  • Published: January 30, 2017
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128120675
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128122471

About the Author

Jean Pierre Bergoeing

Jean Pierre Bergoeing is a French Geomorphologist and polyglot, studied at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. He continued his studies at the University of Aix-Marseille II, France, where he successively obtained a Master's degree in Physical Geography (1972), a 3rd cycle Doctorate in Geomorphology (1975) and finally a State Doctorate in Letters and Human Sciences (1987). His career has developed in three continents, America, Europe and Africa. He has been Professor of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Nantes University of France, Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey, Niger, and the University of Costa Rica. He has also worked for the French Government as international aid worker and later served a diplomatic career as a Scientific and Technical cooperation Attaché. He is the author of several books and numerous publications in international journals, and geomorphic maps on Chile, Costa Rica, Central America, Africa and Europe – including Geomorphology of Central America (Elsevier, June 2015).

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor and researcher, University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica

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