A test of alternative Caribbean Plate relative motion models.

Seth Stein*, Charles Demets, Richard G. Gordon, John Brodholt, Don Argus, Joseph F. Engeln, Paul Lundgren, Carol Stein, Douglas A. Wiens, Dale F. Woods

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Two contrasting models have been proposed to describe the present-day motions between the Caribbean Plate and neighboring plates. One model assumes that North America-Caribbean motion is reflected by the spreading rate (approximately 2 cm/yr) infered from magnetic anomalies at the Cayman Spreading Center and the azimuths of nearby transforms. The other model uses rates and azimuths inferred from the geometry of the Lesser Antilles Wadati-Benioff zone. Uses the NUVEL-1 global relative motion data set, which incorporates recent data not used in earlier studies, to discriminate between the alternative models. Finds that the first model provides a better fit to the direction of North America-Caribbean motion. Moreover, finds that models based on this geometry better fit the direction of Cocos-Caribbean motion observed in earthquake slip vectors along the Middle America Trench.-from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3041-3050
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberB4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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