San Fermin Earthquake of 1918

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Ricardo Perez Historical Processes of Puerto Rico San Fermin Earthquake of 1918 The geological position of Puerto Rico raises a concern for earthquakes in the modern day. The island is located very close to the junction of the Caribbean and North American tectonic plates. A combination of seismic and volcanic activity created the Caribbean islands as we know them today. All of the Caribbean islands, with the exception of Barbados, were created from the fierce volcanic activity of the millions of years ago during the Antillean Revolution. Violent movements of the plates in the Post-Glacial era created the Puerto Rican Trench, nearly 24,000 feet deep, which is the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean. This trench is also characterized by one of the most negative gravity anomalies on the planet; a force of -380 milliGal is present, which indicates an active downward force in the deeper portions of the water ( Puerto Rico’s location near the major tectonic plates is the primary concern for future natural disasters that could change the landscape of the island and cause serious damage to the modern population and infrastructure. “Because the island lies on an active plate boundary, earthquakes are a constant threat, and the densely populated coastal areas are vulnerable to tsunamis. Erosion is a concern in many coastal areas, but is particularly serious to island economies that rely heavily on the tourist industry (” Geological studies of the islands indicate that the western portion of the island has high risk of damaging ground motion, equal to that of Seattle, Washington. The Caribbean and North American plates only have a slight component of subduction as movement takes place. “The Caribbean plate is roughly rectangular, and it slides eastward at about 2 cm/yr relative to the North American plate. Motion along
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