Geography: Part 1

PLACE & LOCATION

The Bermuda Triangle is described as the triangular area of ocean landscape located in the North Atlantic Ocean. The total area has been estimated to be anywhere from 500,000 to 1.5 million square miles. Typically, it is defined by the area found within these 3 points on a map…

Point #1: Miami, FL

Latitude: 25 degrees 46′ 26″ N

Longitude: 80 degrees 11′ 38″ W

Point #2: Bermuda

Latitude: 32 degrees 19′ 59″ N

Longitude: 64 degrees 45′ 0″ W

Point #3: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Latitude: 18 degrees 28′ 5″ N

Longitude: 66 degrees 6′ 22″ W

bermudatriangle

PLATE TECTONICS

The lithosphere is the upper layer of the Earth’s crust, and is broken up by constantly moving plates. The theory of plate tectonics describes 3 types of moving plate interactions: divergence (sea floor spreading), convergence (and subduction), and transformation (side-by-side motion).

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Divergence is the separating of Earth’s tectonic plates away from each other, as seen in sea floor spreading. As the plates separate, magma escapes from the inner asthenosphere layer to create deep rift valleys in the sea floor like the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. These massive divergent plate movements cause much of the severe weather that the Bermuda Triangle is infamous for.

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The southwestern border of the Bermuda Triangle lies along the Puerto Rico Trench, which is a perfect example of the results of subduction tectonic plate movements. Subduction occurs when one plate is forced underneath another plate as they converge. Seen below, the Puerto Rico Trench is currently the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

Atlantic-trench

All of this plate movement can cause major earthquakes, which often lead to tsunamis and rogue waves in the Bermuda Triangle and surrounding areas. As the trench grows and magma is forced up between the plates, a new sea floor is regularly being formed through underwater volcanic activity.