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The middle America convergent plate boundary, Guatemala

By
Roland von Huene
Roland von Huene
U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, California 94025
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Published:
January 01, 1989

Abstract

The eastern boundary of the Pacific basin from northern Mexico to Panama is the Middle America Trench, a morphological expression of convergence between the oceanic Cocos Plate and the North American and Caribbean Plates (Fig. 1). A transect of seismic and drill core data across the northern part of the trench off southern Mexico where the Cocos and North American Plates converge is described by Watkins (this volume). In this chapter, I describe a corridor of seismic and drill core data across the Guatemalan convergent margin. The tectonic structure off Guatemala differs from other examples along the Middle America Trench in the lack of accreted rock younger than Eocene. The unique character of the trench between Mexico and Costa Rica is seen in its morphology. North of the Gulf of Tehuantepec (Fig. 1 and Plate 1C), the continental shelf is narrow and much of the continental margin is a steep continental slope. South of the Gulf of Tehuantepec, the continental shelf is underlain by a wide fore-arc basin. At the Santa Elena Peninsula of Costa Rica, the shelf becomes narrow again, and locally the slope of the trench begins at the shore. Thus, the segment of the Middle America Trench between the Gulf of Tehuantepec and the Santa Elena Peninsula is the only one associated with a broad offshore fore-arc basin.

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Contents

DNAG, Geology of North America

The Eastern Pacific Ocean and Hawaii

E. L. Winterer
E. L. Winterer
Scripps Institution of Oceanography La Jolla, California 92093
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Donald M. Hussong
Donald M. Hussong
University of Hawaii Department of Geology and Geophysics Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
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Robert W. Decker
Robert W. Decker
4087 Silver Bar Road Mariposa, California 95338
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Geological Society of America
Volume
N
ISBN electronic:
9780813754659
Publication date:
January 01, 1989

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