Costa Rica’s Punta Uvita disappears following Japan Earthquake


Scientists from School of Geology at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) monitor changes in ocean currents of the South Pacific to see if they could be affecting the erosion of one of Costa Rica’s most important tourist attractions in the the Zona Sur (Southern Zone), the Tombolo de Punta Uvita, in the Marino Ballena National Park. After earthquake M9.0 that struck Japan, famous beach disappeared.

The Punta Uvita is one of the most spectacular geological formations of the country – a tongue of land and sand that connects the mainland or an island continent which is composed of rocks that are approximately 25 to 35 million years old. Experts of the Obvservatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica (OVSICORI), believe that the tsunami caused by the earthquake increased tides and possibly a drop in the sea floor.

The Tómbolo or the “cola de ballena” (whale’s tail), is a stretch of sandy beach located in the Parque Marino Ballena in Punta Uvita that visitors, during low tide, of the area can walk from the mainland out to sea almost one kilometre. However, since Friday morning residents of the area and confirmed by experts, the level of water covers most of the Tómbolo even at low time and the only way to reach the tail is by swimming out to it. And the tail itself is about half submerged in the water and almost completely during high tide.

Normally, the tongue is about a mile long and about 100 meters wide. This week, however, neighbors alerted the authorities that much of this training is submerged. According to Guillermo Salazar, marine geologist at the School of Geology at the University of Costa Rica (UCR), deformation of land could be due to a change in the direction and behavior of marine currents near the site. Tongue-shaped sand whale tail is confluence of two different sea currents from both sides. When there is the change in orientation of these flows, if they dont converge, the changes in the shape of the isthmus happen. However, the scientist said it is too early to disappear. “No one is doing research there at the moment to assert something like that. I’d wait a couple of months to see if flows return to normal and stable way. “The scientist denied that the high tide or full moon have an important influence. (LaNacion)

Watch the video from InsideCostarica portal.


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