A global tectonic activity map

  • Lowman P. D. Jr.
26e Congrès Géologique International Paris, France, 7–17.07.1980 Symposium Inter-Sections S 16& S 17 Mapping Geological Hazards


A three-part map, showing equatorial and polar regions, has been compiled showing tectonic and volcanic activity of the past one million years, including the present. Features shown include actively-spreading ridges, spreading rates, major active faults, subduction zones, well-defined plates, and volcanic areas active within the past one million years. Activity within this period has been inferred from seismicity (instrumental and historic), physiography, and published literature. The tectonic activity map has been used for planning global geodetic programs of satellite laser ranging and very long base line interferometry, and for geologic education. It illustrates several aspects and problems of global tectonic and volcanic activity not shown on conventional plate maps: the large areas of crustal deformation not susceptible to treatment as parts of rigid plates. the wide occurrence of volcanoes on the upper blocks of continent-continent convergence zones, areas of little-known volcanism and tectonism, intraplate rifts, and the bilateral across-strike symmetry of young fold belts.


Subduction Zone Plate Tectonics Fold Belt Rigid Plate Goddard Space 

Une carte globale de l'activite tectonique


Une carte en trois parties, qui montre les régions équatoriales et polaires, a été dressée. Elle montre l'activité tectonique et volcanique au cours du dernier milliaon d'années, y compris le présent. Parmi les caractéristiques montrées sont des chaînes qui sont en train de développer de la croûte océanique, la vitesse de développement, les failles actives les plus importantes, des zones de subduction, des plaques bien définies, et des régions volcaniques actives pendant le dernier million d'années. L'activité durant cette période a été déduite de la sismicité (instrumentale et historique), de la physiographie, et de divers publications. On a utilisé la carte de l'activité tectonique pour organiser des programmes géodesiques globaux dans lesquels on détermine la distance aux satellites par laser, des programmes d'interférométrie aux lignes de référence très longue, et aussi pour l'éducation géologique. Cette carte illustre plusieurs aspects et problèmes de l'activité globale tectonique et volcanique qui ne se révèlent pas sur des cartes de plaques classiques: les grandes régions de déformation crustale qu'on ne peut pas traiter comme des parties des plaques rigides, l'occurence étendue des volcans sur les blocs supérieurs des zones de convergence entre continents, des régions de tectonisme et de volcanisme peu connue, des rifts tectoniques intraplaques, et la symétrie bilatérale contre la direction des zones orogéniques récentes.


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Copyright information

© International Assocaition of Engineering Geology 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lowman P. D. Jr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltU.S.A.

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