Recent Geodetic Results in the Azores Triple Junction Region
—GPS (Global Positioning System) observations started to be carried out in the Azores region under the scope of the TANGO (TransAtlantic Network for Geodesy and Oceanography) project in 1988. The measurements carried out between 1993 and 2000 (five campaigns) on nine GPS sites (one per island) were reprocessed using two state–of–the-art software packages. Different methodologies were applied to compute each campaign solution and the derived velocity field. The velocity fields, including the motions of two permanent stations, recently installed in the Azores, were computed within the most recent geodetic reference frame, ITRF2000 (International Terrestrial Reference Frame, solution 2000). They are compared with the motions of the stable rigid tectonic plates using as reference DEOS2k, a global tectonic model developed using geodetic data. The relative motions between the Western and Central groups of islands yield to evaluate the opening rate of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (boundary between the North American plate and the Eurasian and African plates). Concerning the boundary between the Eurasian and African plates, the motion of the TANGO sites in the Central and Eastern groups clearly identifies the transition pattern between those two plates. Two of the sites are considered to be located in the stable part of these plates, whereas the remaining five are within the deformation region of the Eurasia-Africa boundary. The conclusions are analyzed in view of the different deformation models, derived from geodynamic or geophysical data that have been proposed for the region.
Key words:Azores Triple Junction GPS processing plate tectonics
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