Geodetic constraints on deformation of the northeast Caribbean microplates and seismic delay times measured via waveform cross-correlation.
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Shaw, Kenton A., 1991-
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GPS data indicate that the northeastern Caribbean is deforming in ways that are inconsistent with the rest of the Caribbean tectonic plate. Current deformation may be due to a collision between Hispaniola and the Bahamas carbonate platform or the impact of a westward-propagating, subducted edge of the North America plate, or both. We process and interpret GPS data to evaluate, in conjunction with other observations, a) the relative influence of these sources of deformation for Hispaniola and b) their implications for the hypothesis that the northeastern Caribbean is comprised of one or more microplates. We conclude that the most likely tectonic scenario is one in which a northern Hispaniola microplate and a Hispaniola microplate move separately from the larger Caribbean plate. An analysis of teleseismic relative arrival times shows delayed arrivals at likely boundaries between microplates and unusually fast arrivals where subducted North American lithosphere is expected to be found.