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Revista Tecnología en Marcha

On-line version ISSN 0379-3982Print version ISSN 0379-3982


PIEDRA-CASTRO, Lilliana; CASTILLO-CHINCHILLA, Maikol  and  MORALES-CERDAS, Vanessa. Characterization of sandy beaches of the Southern Caribbean of Costa Rica. Tecnología en Marcha [online]. 2021, vol.34, n.3, pp.120-133. ISSN 0379-3982.

Coastal zones are highly dynamic environments that provide a range of ecosystem services. They are influenced by natural and anthropogenic factors, leading to increasingly drastic changes which have negative impacts on biological diversity and human communities. The present study characterizes the beaches of the Southern Caribbean of Costa Rica (SC-CR) to provide a baseline for marine-coastal management. Eight beaches of the SC-CR were studied, and 47 transects were defined in which the following information was obtained: beach width, scarp width and height, average particle size in dunes, plant species, and vegetation cover and height. Puerto Viejo and Vizcaya were determined to have the greatest average width, while Manzanillo and Gandoca had the smallest. In 25.24% of the sampled points there were signs of erosion. The width of the scarp varied from 3.90 m to 43.70 m and the height between 15 cm and 70 cm. The sand particles in 87.5% of the beaches were medium-sized. A total of 283 trees or shrubs from 11 families and 11 species were counted. In conclusion, the characterization of the SC-CR beaches allowed generating baseline information on the state of the physical and biological aspects of these ecosystems, as well as showing that these beaches are exposed to change. However, it is necessary to establish whether these are related to the dynamics of the beaches themselves or due to the interactions of elements such as sea level rise, thermal expansion and changes in current patterns due to climate change or global change.

Keywords : Coast; vegetation; erosion; morphology; environmental management.

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