The island of Jamaica is approximately 205 kilometres long and 73 kilometres wide and is located in the northwestern section of the Caribbean Sea. The island is situated on the northern margin of the Caribbean Plate as it abuts against the North American Plate. The margin between these two plates is the tectonically active east-west trending Cayman Trough.
The Cayman Trough, which extends eastwards from the Gulf of Honduras to the east of Hispaniola, lies immediately to the north and separates Jamaica from Cuba.
Jamaica is an emergent part of the Nicaraguan Rise, which is a broad, dominantly submerged belt of crustal thickening extending from Honduras to Jamaica. Jamaica, therefore, lies at the junction between two plates; the plate of thickened crust of the Nicaraguan Rise (Caribbean Plate) abbuting against the extending oceanic crust of the Cayman Graben.