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El Salvador overlies part of the Chortis continental block that includes southern Guatemala, Honduras and most of Nicaragua.
The country, along with the rest of Central America is seismologically very active, lying at the boundary of 3 tectonic plates. Here the Pacific Ocean floor (Cocos Plate) is moving northeastwards and subducting under Chortis to create the Middle America Trench that lies off the coast of the country. The country thus has a long history of destructive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Globalshift believes that El Salvador does not hold any onshore petroleum potential as its inter-montane sedimentary basins are too small and too shallow to generate or trap hydrocarbons. El Salvador also has no oil and gas potential offshore since its continental shelf steeply dips into the Middle America Trench in the Pacific.