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Mountains of Panama Forming Continental Divide

9.0N 79.6W

January 29th, 2012 Category: Mountains

Panama - December 24th, 2011

This orthorectified wide-swath ASAR image shows the mountains of Panama, a Central American country, bordering both the Caribbean Sea (above) and the Pacific Ocean (below), between Colombia (to the east) and Costa Rica (to the west).

The dominant feature of the country’s landform is the central spine of mountains and hills that forms the continental divide. The divide does not form part of the great mountain chains of North America, and only near the Colombian border are there highlands related to the Andean system of South America. The spine that forms the divide is the highly eroded arch of an uplift from the sea bottom, in which peaks were formed by volcanic intrusions.

The mountain range of the divide is called the Cordillera de Talamanca near the Costa Rican border. Farther east it becomes the Serranía de Tabasará, and the portion of it closer to the lower saddle of the isthmus, where the canal is located, is often called the Sierra de Veraguas. As a whole, the range between Costa Rica and the canal is generally referred to by geographers as the Cordillera Central.

 

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