The Andes Laboratory is placed in a region where the tectonic framework is
controlled by the Nazca plate flat subduction under the South American plate.
Sub-horizontal subduction have been occurring during at least the last 10
Ma, and although its cause is not yet well known becomes clear that it is the
responsible of the profuse all magnitudes seismicity, the mountain building and
the lack of Cenozoic volcanism. The Mw=8.2, April/3/1943, Ovalle earthquake,
was the last very large damaging earthquake of the region, which suggest to put
some attention to the seismic cycle after almost 70 yr of stress accumulation.
The laboratory low background noise (excluding the unavoidable sporadic
two narrow band frequencies of oceanic microseism) is ideal to place highly
sensitive seismographs able to record seismic frequencies from around 1 Hz, of
local earthquakes, to very ultra-long periods of more than 100 sec of the earth
normal modes vibrations excited by a large earthquake.
A broadband seismograph installed close to the Argentina-Chile boundary,
make a privileged natural nexus between the two countries existent seismic
networks. Therefore, useful to study seismic risk, peculiar subduction and
mountain building characteristics, and topics related to global seismicity.
A dedicated section of the laboratory will host the geoscience activities.