Abstract

Recent geodetic studies suggest that the Central Range fault is the principal plate-boundary structure accommodating strike-slip motion between the Caribbean and South American plates. Our study shows that the fault forms a topographically prominent lineament in central Trinidad. Results from a paleoseismic investigation at a site where Holocene sediments have been deposited across the Central Range fault indicate that it ruptured the ground surface most recently between 2710 and 550 yr B.P. If the geodetic slip rate of 9–15 mm/yr is representative of Holocene slip rates, our paleoseismic data suggest that at least 4.9 m of potential slip may have accumulated on the fault and could be released during a future large earthquake (M > 7).

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