Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

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Volcanic Evolution of Panama

July 4, 2022

Panama is a land of volcanoes, with a long history of volcanic activity.

The geological history of Panama that is related to the formation of a landbridge between the Americas is often described in terms of collision with South America. However, Panama is a land of volcanoes, with a long history of volcanic activity that reflects important tectonic changes in the area over the past hundred million years. This seminar will present our most recent knowledge about this volcanic evolution. It will show how volcanism could have contributed to the emergence of the area, and how it helped shape the modern landscape of the Isthmus.

Dr David Buchs is a Senior Lecturer in geology at the University of Cardiff, UK, and a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. David studies ancient volcanic systems and is notably interested in the formation and erosion of oceanic islands such as those that grew to form the Isthmus of Panama. David leads the Geological Research on the Isthmus of Panama (GRIP), which is a project aimed at exploring and studying the geological evolution of the region.

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