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

A physical-oceanographic study of Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Harald Svendsen, Rune Rosland, Steiner Myking, José A. Vargas, Omar G. Lizano, Eric J. Alfaro



A physical-oceanographic investigation based on field experiments and applications of a numerical model was carried out in Golfo Dulce, a fjord-like gulf at the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Due to the nearness to equator the effect of the Coriolis force on the circulation is negligible. Cross gulf gradients are therefore mainly related to the runoff pattern, local wind and topographic effects. The upper layer is characterized by low salinity and high temperature. Local wind effects and topographic steering results in marked across gulf velocity gradients in the upper layer. Along-gulf gradients in temperature and salinity are maintained by the freshwater runoff from the four rivers in the inner part of the gulf. A three-layer current structure is dominating in the sill area while in the deeper inner part of the gulf a two-layer estuarine circulation takes place above slowly moving deep water. Rev. Biol. Trop. 54 (Suppl. 1): 147-170. Epub 2006 Sept. 30


Golfo Dulce; salinity/temperature distribution; circulation; exchange processes; numerical modeling

Full Text:



Asplin, L. 1994. The influence of the earth’s rotation on flows in fjords and coastal oceans. Dr. Thesis, Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, p. 111.

Berntsen, J., M.D. Skogen & T.O. Espelid. 1996. Description of a sigma-coordinate ocean model. Fisken og havet 12. p. 33.

Blumberg, A.F & G.L. Mellor. 1987. A description of a threedimensional coastal ocean circulation model. In N. Heaps (ed.). Three-dimensional Coastal Ocean Models. American Geophysical Union, Washington D.C., USA.

Brenes, C.L. & S. Léon 1988. Algunos aspectos fisíco-qumicos del Golfo Dulce. Ing. Cienc. Quím. 12: 12-16.

Carrillo, E., G. Wong & A. Cuaron. 2000. Monitoring mammal populations in Costa Rican protected areas under different hunting restrictions. Conserv. Biol. 14: 1580-1591.

Cushman-Roisin, B., L. Asplin & H. Svendsen. 1994. Upwelling in broad fjords. Continental Shelf Res. 14: 1701-1721.

Dalsgaard, T., D. Canfield, J. Petersen, B. Thamdrup & J. Acuña-González. 2003. N-2 production by the anammox reaction in the anoxic water column of Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Nature 422: 606-608.

Dean, H. 2004. Marine biodiversity of Costa Rica: Class Polychaeta (Annelida). Rev. Biol. Trop. 52 (Suppl. 2): 131-181.

García-Céspedes, J., J. Acuña-González & J. Vargas- Zamora. 2004. Metales traza en sedimentos costeros de Costa Rica. Rev. Biol. Trop. 52 (Suppl. 2): 51-60.

Gytre, T. 1996. Mini Current Meter model SD-6000 – User Manual. Report. Sensordata a/s. Haney, R.L. 1991. On the Pressure Gradient Force over Steep Topography in Sigma Coordinate Ocean Models. J. Phys. Oceanogr. 21: 610-619.

Hebbeln, D. & J. Cortés. 2001. Sedimentation in a tropical fiord: Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Geo-marine Letters. 20 (3): 142-148.

Herrera, W. 1985. Clima de Costa Rica. Universidad Estatal a Distancia, San José, Costa Rica.

León, R. & J.A. Vargas. 1998. Macroinfauna of a tropical fjord-like embayment, Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Rev. Biol. Trop. 46 (Suppl. 6): 81-90.

Leth, O.K. 1995. A study on the effect of local wind on the dynamics of the upper layer in the inner part of Malangen. In H.R. Skjoldal, C. Hopkins, K.E. Erikstad & H.P. Leinaas (eds.). Ecology of Fjords and Coastal Waters. Elsevier, New York, USA.

Levitus, S. & T. Boyer 1994. World Ocean Atlas 1994 Volume 4: Temperature. NOAA Atlas NESDIS 4, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington D.C., USA.

Martinsen, E.A. & H. Engedahl. 1987. Implementation and testing of a lateral boundary scheme as an open boundary condition in a barotropic ocean model. Coastal Engineering 11: 603-627.

Mellor, G.L. & T. Yamada. 1982. Development of a turbulence closure model for geophysical fluid problems. Rev. geophy. space physi. 20:851-875.

Morales-Ramírez, A. 2001. Biodiversidad marina de Costa Rica, los microcrustáceos: Subclase Copépoda (Crustácea: Maxillopoda). Rev. Biol. Trop. 49 (Suppl. 2): 115-133.

Oort, A. 1983. Global atmospheric circulation statistics, 1958-1973. NOAA Professional Paper 14, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington D.C., USA.

Quesada-Alpízar, M. & A. Morales-Ramírez. 2004. Comportamiento de las masas de agua en el Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica durante El Niño (1997-1998). Rev. Biol. Trop. 52 (Suppl. 2): 95-103.

Quirós, G.E. 1989. Corrientes residuales en Golfo Dulce. In Informe Técnico. Sección de Oceanografia, Departamento de Física, Universidad Nacional, Heredia, Costa Rica. p. 27.

Quirós, G.E. 1990. Establicemento de una finca productora de camarones en el alto Golfo Dulce. Informacíon técnica fundamental, climatología, oceanografía, ecología. Manuscript. Sección de Oceanografía, Departemento de Física, Universidad Nacional, Heredia, Costa Rica. p. 17.

Richards, F.A., J.J. Anderson & J.D. Cline. 1971. Chemical and physical 0vbservations in Golfo Dulce, an anoxic basin on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Limnol. and Oceanogr. 16:43-50.

Rodríguez-Fonseca, J. 2001. Diversidad y distribución de los cetáceos de Costa Rica. Rev. Biol. Trop. 49 (Suppl. 2): 135-143.

Silva-Benavides, A. & R. Bonilla. 2001. Abundancia y morfometría de Anadara tuberculosa y A. Similis (Mollusca: Bivalvia) en el manglar de Purruja, Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Rev. Biol. Trop. 49 (Suppl. 2): 315-320.

Smagorinsky, J. 1963. General circulation experiments with the primitive equations. I: The basic experimen. Mon. Weather Rev. 91: 99-164.

Spongberg, A. 2004. PCB contamination in marine sediments from Golfo Dulce, Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Rev. Biol. Trop. 52 (Suppl. 2): 23-32.

Svendsen, H. & R.O.R.Y. Thompson. 1978. Wind-driven Circulation in a Fjord. J. Phys. Oceanogr. 8: 703-712.

Svendsen, H. 1981. A study of circulation and exchange processes in the Ryfylke fjords. Dr. Thesis, Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen. p. 139.

Svendsen, H. 1995. Physical oceanography of coupled fjord-coast systems in northern Norway with special focus on frontal dynamics and tides. In H.R. Skjoldal, C. Hopkins, K.E. Erikstad & H.P. Leinaas (eds.). Ecology of Fjords and Coastal Waters. Elsevier, New York, USA.

Taylor, M. & E. Alfaro. 2005. Climate of Central America and the Caribbean. In John Oliver (ed.). The Encyclopedia of World Climates. Springer, Germany. 854 p.

Vargas, J.A. & A.M. Wolff (eds.). 1996. Pacific Coastal Ecosystems of Costa Rica with Emphasis on the Golfo Dulce and adjacent areas: a synoptic view base on the R.V. Victor Hensen expedition 1993/1994 and previous studies. Rev. Biol. Trop. 44 (Suppl. 3): 1-238.

Thamdrup Bo., D.E. Canfield, T.G. Ferdelman, R.N. Glud & J. Gundersen. 1996. A biochemical survey of the anoxic basin Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Rev. Biol. Trop. 44 (Suppl. 3): 19-33.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

© 2017 Universidad de Costa Rica. Para ver más detalles sobre la distribución de los artículos en este sitio visite el aviso legal. Este sitio es desarrollado por UCRIndex y Open Journal Systems. ¿Desea cosechar nuestros metadatos? dirección OAI-PMH: