Deposits of Peat in Costa Rica

  • Luis Gmo. Obando
  • Luis R. Malavassi
  • Rodrigo Estrada
Part of the Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources Earth Science Series book series (CIRCUM-PACIFIC, volume 16)

Abstract

Peat deposits of Costa Rica developed in major alluvial plains of the Atlantic coast (back arc basin) and in the mountains in small depressions of the magmatic arc.

The peat swamps of the Caribbean coastal plain display both elongate morphology typical of a back-barrier environment, or irregular forms associated with inundated plains of meandering rivers. The peat deposits range in thickness from 0.5 m to 15 m. Calorific values vary between 2975 and 4695 Kcal/kg (dry base) and display low sulfur values. The organic content is mainly fragments of Yolillo (Raphia), a palm which is common in peat bogs in the Caribbean zone. The inorganic components were derived from the magmatic-arc mountains located to the south, which provided sediments principally of volcanic origin.

The peats in the intermontane depressions are found in the higher zones of Costa Rica (magmatic-arc of the Cordillera de Talamanca). These types of peat are poorly developed and have irregular shapes. The cold climate, high precipitation, poor drainage, and the lack of inorganic sedimentation produce a peat low in sulfur with a relatively high calorific value. The most important organic components here are sphagnum, grasses, ferns, and sedges.

Keywords

Depression Hydrocarbon Sedimentation Beach Asphalt 

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References

  1. Astorga, A., J. Fernandez, G. Barboza, L. Campos, J. Obando, A. Aguilar, and L. Obando, 1989, Sedimentary basins of Costa Rica: Upper Cretaceous-Cenozoic evolution and hydrocarbon potential: San José, Costa Rica, Refmadora Costarricense de Petroleo (RECOPE S.A.), Management of Primary Production, this volume.Google Scholar
  2. Cohen, A. D., and R. Raymond, Jr., 1984, Final report of short-term mission for preliminary evaluation of the peat resources of Costa Rica: InterAmerican DevelopmentBank, Los Alamos National Laboratory Report LA-UR-84–3436, p.31.Google Scholar
  3. Thayer, G. R., K. D. Williamson, Jr., A. D. Cohen, and O. Ramirez, 1985, Costa Rica peat program: Los Alamos National Laboratory Report LA-UR-3456, p. 140.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis Gmo. Obando
    • 1
    • 2
  • Luis R. Malavassi
    • 1
  • Rodrigo Estrada
    • 1
  1. 1.Refinadora Costarricense de PetroleoS.A. (RECOPE)San JoseCosta Rica
  2. 2.Escuela Centroamericana de GeologíaUniversidad de Costa RicaSan JoseCosta Rica

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