Abstract

A buried trench south of the Gulf of Panama indicates previous subduction beneath the Isthmus of Panama by lithosphere originating in the Pacific Basin. Sediment accumulation is estimated to be as much as 2.5 km within the trench. The thickness and undisturbed nature of these sediments is compatible with a slowing of subduction. Such a slowing is implied by the tectonic history and calculations of present plate convergence.

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