This year saw double the usual number of quakes

Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica graphic
Each dot represents a 2012 earthquake epicenter.

In this year, 2012, Costa Rica experienced double the normal amount of earthquakes.

The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica said that there were 11,049 quakes detected this year compared with 5,483 in 2011 and 6,245 in 2010.

And the scientists said that there were 115 events that were characterized as felt earthquakes.

The Observatorio said these are quakes greater than 2.0 magnitude.

In addition, the Observatorio, which is an agency of the Universidad Nacional in Heredia, said that the Sept. 5 quake at Sámara this year was the second most powerful one in Costa Rica’s history. The quake registered a magnitude of 7.6. That is surpassed only by the 1950 Nicoya quake that had a

7.8 magnitude, said the Observatorio. Other quakes did more damage and took more lives, but simply in magnitude, these are the two greatest.

The effects of the Sept. 5 quake can be seen clearly in the number of felt quakes by month. Typically there are from five to seven such quakes a month. But in September there were 28 felt quakes, and in October there were 20, said the Observatorio. November saw 21, but the number dropped to six in December, according to the report.

In fact, there have been slightly more quakes because the Observatorio report was prepared by Floribeth Vega Solano and Victor González Salas on Dec. 10, and it predates quakes since then. There were nine felt quakes from Friday through Sunday, for example.

The bulk of the felt quakes were along the Pacific coast and in the central mountains. Most are the result of subduction of the Coco tectonic plate under the lighter Caribbean plate on which Costa Rica rides.

This entry was posted in Costa Rica News. Bookmark the permalink.