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Volume 43 - Number 3 - 2008

Offshore structural highs at Valparaíso region, central Chile

Hernán P. Vergara1 y René Astudillo1


1Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y de Recursos Naturales, Universidad de Valparaíso, Casilla 5080 Reñaca, Viña del Mar, Chile



By means of satellite 3-D altimetry, a 40 km submarine alignment sited at 32º-33º south latitude on the shelf break in slope, 27 km offshore Valparaíso region, was detected and described. The alignment consists of three peaks at 200, 733 and 880 m below sea level bearing N10ºW and showing 1230, 1350 and 1545 m relief relative to the surface of the upper slope. According to the international standards for undersea features, the names of Los Molles, Horcón and Zapallar are proposed for them in a northward trend. The whole morphological pattern suggests a non confined block displacement of the outer shelf relative to the surface of the upper slope border implying a Holocene subsidence displacement possibly related to the stresses and seismicity generated by the subduction of the Papudo asperity below the middle slope

Key words: Satellite altimetry, submarine morphology, continental margin




1Laboratorio de Zooplancton, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología,Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. A. P. 70-305, 04510 México, D. F. México
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