Tectonic Escape of the Panama Microplate? Kinematics Along the Western Boundary, Costa Rica

Project: Research project

Project Details


Plate tectonics provides a conceptual framework for placing a number of structural features in rather specific tectonic settings, however the effects of second-order variations are not well constrained. This project will examine the possible effects of aseismic ridge subduction on an active system of faults in Panama. Presently, two hypotheses are viable- the deformation is due to 'escape tectonics' resulting in Cocos Ridge penetration or the deformation is due simply to the west end of the Panama microplate, unrelated to the Cocos Ridge. These models will be tested by measuring displacements of Quaternary terraces and volcanic flows, structural studies of faults, and analysis of focal plane earthquake mechanisms. Each model predicts different spatial distributions of faults, different timing and styles of deformation. Results will help understand microplate boundaries and interactions in the western Caribbean/Central America area and are expected to apply to microplate tectonics in other areas.

Effective start/end date1/1/936/30/96


  • National Science Foundation: $128,468.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.