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Open-File Report 2010-1083-E

Seismicity of the Earth 1900—2007, Nazca Plate and South America

Compiled by Susan Rhea, Gavin Hayes, Antonio Villaseñor¹, Kevin P. Furlong², Arthur C. Tarr, and Harley Benz

¹ Institute of Earth Sciences, CSIC, Lluis Solé i Sabarîs s/n, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
² Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16802 USA

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The South American arc extends over 7,000 km, from the Chilean triple junction offshore of southern Chile to its intersection with the Panama fracture zone, offshore the southern coast of Panama in Central America. It marks the plate boundary between the subducting Nazca plate and the South America plate, where the oceanic crust and lithosphere of the Nazca plate begin their decent into the mantle beneath South America. The convergence associated with this subduction process is responsible for the uplift of the Andes Mountains, and for the active volcanic chain present along much of this deformation front. Relative to a fixed South America plate the Nazca plate moves slightly north of eastwards at a rate varying from approximately 80 mm/yr in the south to approximately 70mm/yr in the north.

First posted August 26, 2010

For additional information contact:

USGS Geologic Hazards Science Center
Box 25046, MS-966
Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225-0046

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Rhea, S., Tarr, A.C., Hayes, G., Villaseñor, A., Furlong, K.P., and Benz, H.M., 2010, Seismicity of the Earth 1900-2007, Nazca plate and South America: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1083-E, 1 map sheet, scale 1:12,000,000.

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