Chile Triple Junction

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The Chile Triple Junction (or Chile Margin Triple Junction) is a geologic triple junction located on the seafloor of the Pacific Ocean off Taitao and Tres Montes Peninsula on the southern coast of Chile. Here three tectonic plates meet: the South American Plate, the Nazca Plate, and the Antarctic Plate. This triple junction is unusual in that it consists of a mid-oceanic ridge, the Chile Rise, being subducted under the South American Plate at the Peru–Chile Trench.

The Antarctic Plate started to subduct beneath South America 14 million years ago in the Miocene epoch forming the Chile Triple Junction. At first the Antarctic Plate subducted only in the southernmost tip of Patagonia, meaning that the Chile Triple Junction lay near the Strait of Magellan. As the southern part of Nazca Plate and the Chile Rise became consumed by subduction the more northerly regions of the Antarctic Plate begun to subduct beneath Patagonia so that the Chile Triple Junction advanced gradually to its present position in front of Taitao Peninsula at 46°15’.[1][2]

Taitao Peninsula lies near the triple junction and various geological features, such as the Taitao ophiolite, are related to the dynamics of the triple junction.[3]


  1. ^ Cande, S.C.; Leslie, R.B. (1986). "Late Cenozoic Tectonics of the Southern Chile Trench". Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth and Planets. 91 (B1): 471–496. Bibcode:1986JGR....91..471C. doi:10.1029/JB091iB01p00471.
  2. ^ Pedoja, Kevin; Regard, Vincent; Husson, Laurent; Martinod, Joseph; Guillaume, Benjamin; Fucks, Enrique; Iglesias, Maximiliano; Weill, Pierre (2011). "Uplift of quaternary shorelines in eastern Patagonia: Darwin revisited". Geomorphology. 127 (3): 121–142. Bibcode:2011Geomo.127..121P. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2010.08.003.
  3. ^ Nelson, Eric; Forsythe, Randall; Diemer, John; Allen, Mike (1993). "Taitao ophiolite: a ridge collision ophiolite in the forearc of southern Chile (46°S)". Revista Geológica de Chile. 20 (2): 137–165. Retrieved December 23, 2018.