The eastward movement of the Cocos tectonic plate forces it beneath the largely static Caribbean plate, along whose western edge the Central American volcanic arc (which includes the country of Costa Rica) is located.
and Montgomery, eds., Key Concepts in Geomorphology), Megathrust
Stadia rod used to measure depth of post-earthquake
After the quake, a circa 3 meter tall tsunami was reported. With a magnitude of 7.6 Mw, this was one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded in Costa Rica.
In the city center of San JosÃ©, many people stopped working and grouped on the streets waiting for safety checks for the buildings. 26), (Marshall et al., 2012, Seismological Society of America Costa Rica Water Department reports damages in some water …
Peninsula Research Bibliography [Web Site], On 5 September 2012, a major megathrust earthquake (M, For geoscientists, the 2012 Nicoya earthquake was a
The ash cloud reached a height of 5,000 meters.
Blue vectors show horizontal velocities relative to stable Inversion modeling of preliminary GPS data from the OVSICORI geodetic network 0 deaths). Rosa Pichardo, 45, who lives in Samara, was walking on the beach with her family when the quake hit. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Debris Lines - Hand The 2012 Nicoya earthquake was felt throughout much of Central America and resulted in widespread damage to homes, businesses, schools, and health centers across Costa Rica (>$45 million). M7.6 – 10km NE of Hojancha, Costa Rica.
a) Geodesy field team at the SAMA campaign GPS site at Playa  Power losses were reported in some areas in and around the capital city San JosÃ© and in the Nicoya Peninsula and the Chira Island. 3. This 6.5 Mw earthquake had its epicenter in Panama, but caused in damage in Costa Rica as well.
These sites were measured rapidly to determine comparative elevations above
SÃsmica, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro [Web Site], Red SismolÃ³gica Nacional, These survey data provide Roads cracked and power lines fell to the ground. Paleoseismic Fieldwork, (Marshall and Spotila, 2011, NSF GeoPRISMS Newsletter, Issue No. Expert Opinion, Hydrate On Cactus Water For These 7 Benefits, Magnitude 3.1 Earthquake Shakes Southern California Desert Near Mecca, Major Changes to Windows 8 User Interface.
1989). 1700 aftershocks were recorded within the first 5 days (OVSICORI-UNA), schools, and health centers across Costa Rica (>$45 million). Examples of places that sustained serious damage: Almirante, Changuinola, Guabito, Isla Colon.
distinct rupture patches outlined by aftershocks beneath the central and “The whole building was moving, I couldn’t even walk,” Landwer said. Central America Tectonic Setting. substantial seismic hazard. coast-perpendicular beach profiles at sites that had been surveyed prior to geodetic survey "mojones", telephone poles, sign posts, etc.). Location of the Costa Rica earthquake of 5 September 2012: Image courtesy of USGS. In the light of this, it is perhaps surprising that the September 2012 tremor is the joint largest on record in the country. âª Earthquake in Costa Rica Live Footage 09/05/2012, âª Costa Rica earthquake September 5 2012. âª Earthquake Hits Guanacaste Costa Rica! similar to the area of pre-earthquake locking suggested by GPS modeling (Fig. comparative pre & post-earthquake elevation profiles relative to mean sea measurements at a dozen field sites indicate that the earthquake produced 0.1 The 2012 Costa Rica Earthquake.
Preliminary models based on seismic wave inversion Below you will find a few examples of notable earthquakes that impacted Costa Rica. With a magnitude of 7.6 Mw, this was one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded in Costa Rica. Geomorphic spot Nicoya Earthquake Rapid Response Team, Megathrust There was no wind, the air was completely still, but the trees shook and bent sideways like they do on the windiest days in the Midwest. and campaign sites (red Polster (Grad Student, Georgia Tech), Dr. Andy Newman (Professor, Georgia and the rupture spread outward along the plate interface to encompass This rupture pattern is roughly America. I’m hardly an earthquake expert, after all. tidal levels is ~1.4m, indicating uplift of ~0.8m (Marshall et al., A powerful, magnitude-7.6 earthquake shook Costa Rica and a wide swath of Central America on Wednesday, collapsing some houses, blocking highways and causing panic. Other than some items falling from shelves, the worst part of the earthquake was “the scare,” she told CBS News. Coordinates: 7.91°N 82.75°W. The 2012 Costa Rica earthquake had a depth of circa 40 km, and reached a Mercalli intensity of X (extreme) in Nosara, near the epicenter. This 6.1 Mw earthquake took place on 8 January 19:21 UTC time.
At the epicenter, the beach town of Cangrejal, Jairo Zuniga, 27, said everything in his house fell when the quake hit at 8:42 a.m. (10:42 a.m. EDT; 1442 GMT). “All along the Pacific coast of Central America, you can expect fairly big earthquakes,” said seismologist Daniel McNamara of the U.S. Geological Survey.  The Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) stated that the earthquake had released 40% of the energy accumulated during the 8 years before it and did not exclude the possibility of an earthquake of equal or larger magnitude. This afternoon, as I write this, I have to wear earplugs because our neighbor to the west has soap operas blaring full blast. On 5 September 2012, a major megathrust earthquake (Mw=7.6) ruptured the plate interface beneath the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. These survey data provide Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla announced there were no reports… Site], UNAVCO Nicoya ( Log Out / similar to the area of pre-earthquake locking suggested by GPS modeling (Fig. There’s barely ever any wind here in Tambor, Costa Rica so I thought that this violent torrent was strange. SÃ¡mara, just onshore of the earthquake epicenter, left to right: Sarah earthquake epicenter: a) July 5, 2012, 3:50 pm, +3.0m tide, b) Sept 13, 2012, 12:30 pm, +2.4m high tide. profiles at new sites to determine elevation difference between the Central America and resulted in widespread damage to homes, businesses, Local residents said it shook for about 30 seconds and was felt as far away as neighboring Panama and Nicaragua, where school was canceled in some areas.
perpendicular distance. photo at right.  The recorded acceleration in Fraijanes, Alajuela was larger than that of Nicoya, Guanacaste. hypocenter. post-earthquake recent high tide debris lines (at time of survey) and
While the pre-earthquake high tide at left is 0.6m higher
tide levels and pre-earthquake high-tide staining on rocky cliffs (e.g., A major earthquake that struck off Costa Rica today is the largest recorded in the country’s history. Powerful earthquake rocks Costa Rican capital San Jose. Figure 1. a) Earthquake epicenter map and  The Hospital MonseÃ±or Sanabria in Puntarenas suffered damage, and the building was partially closed. Spot Measurements of Post-Earthquake Coastal 6.
Enough time to contemplate things like the probability of the earth opening up and swallowing us into a hot lava core. The final bill will be higher, however, because many other schools suffered lesser damage which also requires repair. Off the Costa Rican coast, a waterfront uplift exposed coral and sand bluffs. similarity of uplift pattern shown here, and the modeled patterns of fault
segmentation along the Nicoya Peninsula seismic gap, Costa Rica, Central
All in all, over 40 communities were seriously impacted. This rupture pattern is roughly shellfish, etc) now exposed in post-earthquake low tide zone by coseismic  In San JosÃ©, people rushed to the streets out of fear. Figure 4. Two villages were cut off by the earthquake. “People were really scared … We have had moderate quakes but an earthquake (this strong) hadn’t happened in more than 50 years.”.
The quake had a maximal intensity of VIII (severe) on the Mercalli scale in Finca Naranjo, Costa Rica.