Revista de Biología Tropical ISSN Impreso: 0034-7744 ISSN electrónico: 2215-2075

Spatio-temporal distribution of temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen around the Costa Rica Thermal Dome.
HTML (Español (España))
PDF (Español (España))


Ocean Data View
Eastern Tropical Pacific
Costa Rica Thermal Dome
dissolved oxygen.
Ocean Data View
Pacífico Tropical Este
Domo Térmico de Costa Rica
oxígeno disuelto.

How to Cite

Lizano, O. G. (2016). Spatio-temporal distribution of temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen around the Costa Rica Thermal Dome. Revista De Biología Tropical, 64(S1), 135–152.


The Costa Rica Thermal Dome (CRTD) is an oceanographic phenomenon in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP). This is a region of very high biological productivity, resulting in high concentrations of phytoplankton, sea birds, and large pelagics, such as tunas, dolphins and whales. Few publications have looks at the station variability of the water column of the CRTD. Here, horizontal and vertical distribution of some oceanic parameters was analyzed to show the dynamics of ETP, its influence on the CRTD, climatic variations and relationships that justify their distributions. Climatological monthly mean data of Ocean Data View (ODV) from 1900 to 2009 were used to compile profiles of the water column’s temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen, and their spatial distributions around the Costa Rica Thermal Dome (CRTD). Monthly variations of these parameters depend on the intensity and extent of ocean-meteorological phenomena in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP), which are related to the north-south migration of Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The monthly climatic variation of these variables is analyzed down to 200 m depth. Increased climate variability is found in the water column at stations north and east of the CRTD. The two stations north of the CRTD, closer to the coast, are the ones most affected by the wind in front of the Gulf of Papagayo and where the greatest monthly upwelling variation occurs in this region. The distribution and concentration of dissolved oxygen depends on the ocean-atmospheric dynamics. Oxygen is consumed by respiration and organic matter oxidation around CRTD. Moreover, this is one of the regions of the tropical oceans where an Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ) exist, which is related also to poor water circulation or lack ocean ventilation. Sources of dissolved oxygen are linked with sub-surface currents coming from the west and from the south of the geographic equator.
HTML (Español (España))
PDF (Español (España))


Alfaro, E. J. (2008). Ciclo diario y anual de variables troposféricas y oceánicas en la Isla del Coco, Costa Rica. Revista Biología Tropical, 56(Suplemento 2), 19-29.

Alfaro, E., & Cortés, J. (2012). Atmospheric forcing of cool subsurface water events in Bahía Culebra, Gulf of Papagayo, Costa Rica. Revista de Biología Tropical, 60(Suplemento 2), 173-186.

Alfaro, E. J., Cortés, J., Alvarado, J. J., Jiménez, C., León, A., Sánches-Noguera, C., Nivia-Ruiz, J., & Ruiz, E. (2012). Clima y temperatura superficial del mar en Bahía Culebra, Golfo de Papagayo, Costa Rica. Revista Biología Tropical, 60(Suplemento 2), 159-171.

Alfaro, E. (2014). Caracterización del “veranillo” en dos cuencas de la vertiente del Pacífico de Costa Rica, América Central. Revista de Biología Tropical, 62(Suplemento 4), 1-15.

Amador, J. A. (2008). The Intra-Americas Sea Low-level Jet Overview and future research. Trends and Directions in Climate Research. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1146, 153–188.

Amador, J.A., Alfaro, E.J., Lizano, O.G., & Magaña, V. (2006). Atmospheric forcing in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. Progress in Oceanography, 69, 101-142.

Bennett, E.B. (1963). An oceanographic atlas of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean based on data from EASTROPIC Expedition, October-December 1955. Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission Bulletin, 8, 33-165.

Brenes, C.L, Lavín, M.F., & Mascarenhas Jr., A.S., (2008). Geostrophic circulation between the Costa Rica Dome and Central America. Deep Sea Research I, 55, 608-629.

Broenkow, W. (1965). The distribution of nutrients in the Costa Rica Dome in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. Limnology and Oceanography, 10(1), 40-52.

Chavez, F.P. & Messié. M. (2009). A comparison of eastern boundary upwelling ecosystems. Progress in Oceanography, 83, 80-96.

Cromwell, T. (1958). Thermocline topography horizontal currents and “ridging” in the eastern tropical Pacific. Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission Bulletin, 4, 135-164.

Fee, E. A. (2012). Extent of the oxygen minimum zone in the Eastern Tropical North Pacific. (Senior Thesis). University of Washington School of Oceanography. Seattle, Washington.

Fernández-Álamo, M., & Färber-Lorda, J. (2006). Zooplankton and the oceanography of the eastern tropical Pacific: A review. Progress in Oceanography, 69, 318-359.

Fiedler, P. C. (1992). Seasonal climatologies and variability of eastern tropical Pacific surface waters. (NOAA Technical Report, NMFS, 109). Maryland, EEUU: NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service.

Fiedler, P. C. (1994). Seasonal and interannual variability of coastal zone color scanner phytoplankton pigments and winds in the eastern tropical Pacific. Journal of Geophysical Research, 99, 18371-18384.

Fiedler, P. C. (2002). The annual cycle and biological effects of the Costa Rica Dome. Deep-Sea Research I, 49, 321-338.

Fiedler, P. C., & Talley, L. D. (2006). Hydrography of the Eastern Tropical Pacific: A review. Progress in Oceanography, 69, 143-180.

Hidalgo, H. G., Durán-Quesada, A. M., Amador J. A., & Alfaro, E. J. (2015). The Caribbean Low-Level Jet, the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zona and the precipitation patterns in the Intra-Americas Sea: A proposed dynamical mechanism. Geografiska Annaler, Series A: Physical Geography, 97, 41-59. doi: 10.1111/geoa.12085

Hofmann, E. E., Busalacchi, A. J., & O’Brien, J. J. (1981). Wind generation of the Costa Rica Dome. Science, 214, 552-554.

Kashino, Y., Ishida, A., & Hosada, S. (2011). Observed ocean variability in the Mindanao Dome Region. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 41, 287-302.

Karstensen, J., Stramma, L., & Visbeck, M. (2008). Oxygen minimum zones in the eastern tropical Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Progress in Oceanography, 77, 331-350.

Kessler, W. S. (2006). The circulation of the eastern tropical Pacific: A review. Progress in Oceanography, 69, 181-217.

Knauss, J. A. (1978). Introduction to Physical Oceanography. Nueva York: Prentice-Hall.

Levitus, S., Antonov, J. I., Baranova, O. K., Boyer, T. P., Coleman, C. L., Garcia, H. E., Grodsky, A. I., Johnson, D. R., Locarnini, R. A., Mishonov, A. V., Reagan, J. R., Sazama, C. L., Seidov, D., Smolyar, I., Yarosh, E. S., & Zweng, M. M. (2013). The World Ocean Database. Data Science Journal, 3, 229-234.

Lizano, O. G. (2008). Dinámica de las aguas alrededor de la Isla del Coco, Costa Rica. Revista de Biología Tropical, 56(Suplemento 2), 31-48.

Magaña, V., Amador, J. A., & Medina, S. (1999). The Midsummer Drought over Mexico and Central America. Journal of Climate, 12, 1577-1588.

Morales-Ramírez, A., Lizano, O., Acuña, J., Alfaro, E., & Gómez, E. (2015). Rasgos oceanográficos en el Golfo Dulce, Pacífico de Costa Rica: una revisión para la toma de decisiones en conservación marina. Revista de Biología Tropical, 63(Suplemento 1), 131-160.

Muñoz, A. C., Fernández, W., Gutiérrez, J. A., & Zárate, E. (2002). Variación estacional del viento en Costa Rica y su relación con los regímenes de lluvia. Tópicos Meteorológico y Oceanográficos, 9(1), 1-13.

Palacios, D. M., Bograd, S. J., Foley, D. G., & Schwing, F. B. (2006). Oceanographic characteristics of biological hot spots in the North Pacific: A remote sensing perspective. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 53, 250-269.

Paulmier, A., Ruiz-Pino, D., Garçon, V., & Farías, L. (2006). Maintaining of the Eastern South Pacific Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ) off Chile. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L20601.

Paulmier, A., Kriest, I., & Oschlies, A. (2009). Stoichiometries of remineralisation and denitrification in global biogeochemical ocean models. Biogeosciences, 6, 923-935.

Paulmier, A., Ruiz-Pino, D., & Garçon, V. (2011). CO2 maximun in the Oxygen Minimun Zone (OMZ). Biogeosciences, 8,, 239-252.

Pennington, J. T., Mahoney, K. L., Kuwahara, V. S., Kolber, D. D., Calienes, R., & Chavez, F. P. (2006). Primary production in the eastern tropical Pacific: a review. Progress in Oceanography, 69, 285-317.

Quirós, E. (2015). Variabilidad climática de la Zona de Convergencia Intertropical y su influencia en la hidrometeorología centroamericana. (Tesis de Maestría). Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica.

Rincón-Martínez, D., Steph, S., Lamy, F., Mix, A., & Tiedemann, R. (2011). Tracking the equatorial front in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean by the isotopic and faunal composition of planktonic foraminifera. Marine Micropaleontology, 79, 24-40.

Sasai, Y., Richards, K. J., Ishida, A., & Sasaki, H. (2012). Spatial and temporal variabilities of the chlorophyll distribution in the northeastern tropical Pacific: The impact of physical processes on seasonal and interannual time scales. Journal of Marine Systems, 96, 24-31.

Shang-Ping, X., Xu, H., Kessler, W. S., & Nonaka, M. (2005). Air-Sea Interaction over the Eastern Pacific Warm Pool: Gap winds, thermocline dome, and atmospheric convection. Journal of Climate, 18, 5-20.

Umatani, S., & Yamagata, T. (1991). Response of the Eastern Tropical Pacific to meridional migration of the ITCZ: the generation of the Costa Rica Dome. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 21, 346-363.

Willett, C. S., Leben, R., & Lavín, M. F. (2006). Eddies and mesoscale processes in the eastern tropical Pacific: A review. Progress in Oceanography, 69, 218-238.

Wyrtki, K. (1964). Upwelling in the Costa Rica Dome. Fishery Bulletin, 63, 355-372.

Wyrtki, K. (1966). Oceanography of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. Oceanography and Marine Biology Annual Review, 4, 33-68.

Wyrtki, K. (1967). Circulation and water masses in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. International Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 1, 117-147.

Zárate, E. (1978). Comportamiento del viento en Costa Rica. Nota de Investigación No. 2. San José, Costa Rica: Instituto Meteorológico Nacional.



Download data is not yet available.