Tectonic activity influences the topography of Jamaica • Earth.com

Tectonic activity influences the topography of Jamaica

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Jamaica, which is the third largest island in the Caribbean. Jamaica is located at the boundary of the Gonâve and Caribbean tectonic plates, and tectonic activity has contributed to the island’s diverse landscapes.

“The ongoing convergence of these plates causes uplift, giving Jamaica its mountainous topography as well as frequent earthquakes,” says NASA. “The highest point on the island, Blue Mountain Peak, rises 7,402 feet above sea level.”

“Much of Jamaica’s landscape is underlain by limestone. Over geologic time, cockpit karst terrain (such as sinkholes) has formed because limestone is dissolvable in water. The simultaneous dissolution of bedrock and the tectonic uplift lead to a range of elevations across the island.”

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Editor

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