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Published March 21, 1975 | public
Journal Article

Accelerated Plate Tectonics


The concept of a stressed elastic lithospheric plate riding on a viscous asthenosphere is used to calculate the recurrence interval of great earthquakes at convergent plate boundaries, the separation of decoupling and lithospheric earthquakes, and the migration pattern of large earthquakes along an arc. It is proposed that plate motions accelerate after great decoupling earthquakes and that most of the observed plate motions occur during short periods of time, separated by periods of relative quiescence.

Additional Information

© 1975 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 23 October 1974; revised 8 January 1975. Contribution No. 2549, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology. Supported by a Chevron Oil Company research grant and by contract 14-08-0001-1412 with the U.S. Geological Survey.

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