Space Geodetic Observations of Nazca-South America Convergence Across the Central Andes

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Space geodetic data recorded rates and directions of motion across the convergent boundary zone between the oceanic Nazca and continental South American plates in Peru and Bolivia. Roughly half of the overall convergence, about 30 to 40 millimeters per year, accumulated on the locked plate interface and can be released in future earthquakes. About 10 to 15 millimeters per year of crustal shortening occurred inland at the sub-Andean foreland fold and thrust belt, indicating that the Andes are continuing to build. Little (5 to 10 millimeters per year) along-trench motion of coastal forearc slivers was observed, despite the oblique convergence.

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Science, v. 279, issue 5349, p. 358-362