Repeated GPS surveys in the Mariana Islands show that the Mariana block is moving apart from the Philippine Sea plate. The velocities of the islands relative to the Philippine Sea plate range from about 15 mm/yr in the northern islands to about 45 mm/yr near Guam. The data also suggest convergence rates for the Mariana forearc with respect to the Pacific plate of 35-45 mm/yr at 19°N increasing to 55-70 mm/yr at 13.5°N. In addition, the velocity vectors show a slight north-south expansion of the arc. The estimated location of the Euler pole of the Mariana forearc with respect to the Philippine Sea plate is well south of the geographical point where the back-arc basin narrows to zero width.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)