Abstract

The volumes of volcanic products erupted in both the Lesser Antilles and Central America are estimated for the past 300 yr and the past 100 000 yr, and for the past 10 000 yr for the Lesser Antilles alone. From these data, volcanic production rates are calculated for unit lengths of the two subduction zones: 5 (Lesser Antilles) and 62 (Central America) km3 · Ma−1 · km−1 for the past 300 yr; 3 (Lesser Antilles) km3 · Ma−1 · km−1 for the past 10 000 yr; and 4 (Lesser Antilles) and 31 (Central America) km3 · Ma−1 · km−1 for the past 100 000 yr. Volcanic productivity and plate-tectonic slip rates are both significantly greater for Central America than for the Lesser Antilles. The Central America:Lesser Antilles ratio of volcanic productivity rates is two to three times the ratio of plate-tectonic slip rates, but the level of uncertainty in the volume estimates means that this result may not be significant.

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