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Every country has its characteristic; the richness that makes it special or authentic. In this sense, Costa Rica is very fortunate to have an exceptional treasure: its biodiversity .
Within that incomparable biodiversity, is the Thermal Dome, as a wonder of the world, mainly of this Central American country.
Dome was detected more than 70 years ago
The presence of the oceanic phenomenon, the Costa Rica
Thermal Dome, was detected off the coast of the Central American country in
1948, through bathythermographs (instrument consisting of a thermometer that
allows to measure and graphically represent the temperature of the sea water at
different depths) , located on ships that traveled from California to Panama.
Due to the dome shape generated by the thermocline (an imaginary line that separates 2 water bodies of different temperature) when approaching the surface and the location towards Costa Rica, Cromwell (1958) baptized the oceanographic site as the "Costa Rica Thermal Dome".
The Thermal Dome is considered one of the richest places on the planet, due to the huge marine current that generates the displacement of deep, cold, and rich in nutrients.
It should be noted that in some months of the year can
be found next to the Costa Rican Pacific coast, specifically in the area of
Papagayo, northwest of Costa Rica and in the middle of the year tends to
separate, going into the sea.
A marine wealth
The nutrients produced in the Dome are suitable for feeding dolphins and blue whales , which migrate from the coasts of California.
The enormous amount of cold water combined with
sunlight strengthens the growth of algae, which helps feed the zooplankton made
up of larger larvae and animals, such as sponges, worms, echinoderms, molluscs,
or crustaceans, and other aquatic arthropods.
Without a doubt, the Thermal Dome is an interesting
place, which is also located within one of the largest tuna catch areas in the
Countless expeditions have been made in the Dome where certain experts belonging to organizations around the world, have reported species of dolphins such as bottlenose, rough teeth, spotting, and orca. In the case of sea turtles, foundations like Keto, I observe in a tour the species of prairie and leatherback.
Newborn turtle moving on the risky sand toward the sea
and economic importance of the Dome for the Central American countries
According to the German botanist Kessler, the
relevance of the oceanic phenomenon has gone unnoticed for decades. However,
important economic activities, such as fisheries and tourism, are linked to
this important oceanographic phenomenon. "The environmental and socio-economic
relevance of the Dome is hardly being understood and its role in fisheries
maintenance (organized efforts to capture fish or other aquatic species),
marine biodiversity and climate is only now being glimpsed."
On the other hand, there are several threats that can
affect the habitats and ecosystems of the Thermal Dome, among them may be the
increasing entropic pressures that affect the ecological balance and the
climatic conditions in the High Seas and in the associated coastal zones in
Among other threats, there are clashes between ships
and marine organisms such as turtles and cetaceans, which generate blows,
wounds, amputations, lethal collisions and the risk of marine contamination by
the Dome currently a challenge?
The protection of the natural wealth of the Dome is a challenge at present because it is a shared resource in the Central American region and the international community. It is a preferential habitat for vulnerable or endangered species.
Taking into account that countries dependent on the
natural phenomenon have little technical, human and financial capacity, which
is why they must maintain cooperation to implement effective measures in their
A few years
At the 12th Conference of the Parties (COP12) of the
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), held in 2014, specifically in the
South Korean city of Pyeongchang, the Dome was declared a marine zone of
ecological or biological importance (ZIEB), at the proposal of Costa Rica.
Through this measure, authorities and specialists
planned to promote maritime conservation, also highlighting the migration and
feeding of species such as blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), leatherback
turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) and common dolphins (Delphinus delphis).
At that time, the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica (MINAE) prepared a zoning decree that would regulate the extraction of tuna (oceanic fish), within the area. The Thermal Dome is history, marine wealth, colors, life… It is one of the 6 productive domes of the world, part of the great natural fascinations of Costa Rica which, year after year, requires greater protection and research actions.