Eltanin Fault System

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Pacific Ocean depth map showing the Heezen Fault and the Tharp Fault as #17.

The Eltanin Fault System (Eltanin Fracture Zone) is a series of six or seven dextral transform faults that offset the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge, a spreading zone between the Pacific Plate and the Antarctic Plate. The affected zone of the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge is about 800 km long, between 56° S, 145° W and 54.5° S, 118.5° W,[1] southwest of Easter Island, and about as far as one can get from land on planet Earth.[2] However, the total offset is about 1600 km.[1] The two major faults in the Eltanin Fracture Zone are the Heezen Fault and the Tharp Fault. Others related faults include the Vacquier Transform Fault, the Menard Transform Fault, and the Udintsev Fault.[3]


  1. ^ a b Lonsdale, Peter (1994). "Structural geomorphology of the Eltanin fault system and adjacent transform faults of the Pacific-Antarctic plate boundary". Marine geophysical researches 16 (2): 105–143. Bibcode:1994MarGR..16..105L. doi:10.1007/BF01224756. 
  2. ^ Because of the generally remote character of the epicentral area (the Eltanin FZ is indeed close to the point at sea farthest away from any land shore) page 10.497, Stewart, Lisa M. and Okal, Emile A. (1983). "Seismicity and Aseismic Slip Along the Eltanin Fracture Zone" (PDF). Journal of Geophysical Research 88 (B12): 10,495–10,507. doi:10.1029/jb088ib12p10495. 
  3. ^ Dosso, L. et al. (2005). "The Pacififi c-Antarctic Ridge between 41°15’S and 52°45’S: Survey and sampling during the PACANTARCTIC 2 cruise" (PDF). InterRidge News 14: 1–4. 

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