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A giant submarine slope failure on the northern insular slope of Puerto Rico

Marine Geology

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Abstract

A large amphitheater-shaped scarp, approximately 55 km across, was imaged on the northern insular slope of Puerto Rico using long-range sidescan sonar and bathymetric data. This scarp results from the removal of more than 1500 km3 of Tertiary strata. A review of seismic-reflection profiles, stratigraphic data, and subsidence models of the northern insular margin of Puerto Rico were used to infer that large-scale slope failure was induced by the tectonic oversteepening of the insular slope and was responsible for the formation of the scarp. The oversteepening probably was caused by the most recent episode of convergence of the Caribbean and North American plates, which began between approximately 4 and 2.5 m.y. ago. The Tertiary strata have been tilted approximately 4.5?? to the north in the last 4 m.y. ?? 1991.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
A giant submarine slope failure on the northern insular slope of Puerto Rico
Series title:
Marine Geology
Volume
96
Issue:
3-4
Year Published:
1991
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Marine Geology
First page:
237
Last page:
246
Number of Pages:
10