Main tectonic plates

Main tectonic plates

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The main tectonic plates are: Pacific Plate, Nazca Plate, South American Plate, North American Plate, Africa Plate, Antarctic Plate, Indo-Australian Plate, Western Eurasian Plate, Eastern Eurasian Plate, Philippine Plate.

Check below the description of each of them.

Pacific plate

The largest oceanic plate - about 70 million square kilometers - is under constant renewal in the Hawaii region, where magma rises and creates volcanic islands. At the meeting with the Philippine plate, the plate sinks in a region known as the Mariana Trench, where the ocean reaches its maximum depth: 11,034 meters.

Nazca Plate

Each year, this 10 million square kilometer sign in the eastern Pacific Ocean is 10 centimeters smaller by collisions with the South American sign. This lighter glide over the Nazca plate, generating volcanoes and raising the Andes mountains higher.

South American Plate

Because Brazil is right in the middle of this 32 million square kilometer block, the effects of earthquakes and volcanoes have little effect. In the center of the continent, the plate is 200 kilometers thick. At the edge with the Africa sign, the youngest terrain is no more than 15 kilometers.

North American and Caribbean Plate

With 70 million square kilometers, it encompasses all of North and Central America. The horizontal displacement from the Pacific plate creates a turbulent border: at one end in California is the San Andreas fault known for the devastating earthquakes.

Plate from africa

In the middle of the Atlantic, a submerged fault paves the way for the lower cloak magma, causing this block to progressively move away from the South American plate - with which it formed a single continent 135 million years ago - and grow in size. The trend is to pass the current 65 million square kilometers.

Antarctic Plate

The eastern part of the plate, which was 200 million years ago near Australia, Africa, and India, collided with at least five smaller plates that formed the west side. The result is a block that supports Antarctica and a part of the South Atlantic, totaling 25 million square kilometers.

Indo-Australian Sign

The 45 million square kilometer block that supports India, Australia, New Zealand, and most of the Indian Ocean is rapidly heading north. In addition to the Indian subcontinent clashing with Asia, the northeast border hits the plate of the Philippines, creating new islands in this region.

Western Eurasian Plate

It supports Europe, part of Asia, the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. In the collision with the Indo-Australian sign, the Himalayan mountain range was born in South Asia, where there are over 100 mountains with altitudes exceeding 7,000 meters. Its total area is 60 million square kilometers.

Eastern Eurasian Plate

In its eastward movement, this 40 million square kilometer block hits the plate of the Philippines and the Pacific plate in Japan's region. The triple encounter is tumultuous and gives rise to one of the areas of the globe. with higher rate of earthquakes and volcanoes.

Philippine plate

This small plate of only 7 million square kilometers concentrates almost half of the planet's active volcanoes. Collisions with the eastern Eurasian plate cause earthquakes and devastating eruptions, such as Mount Pinatubo (Philippines) in 1991, considered one of the most violent in the last 50 years.

Mount Pinatubo during the 1991 eruption


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