Major and minor Tectonic Plates

Thursday, February 6, 2020

There are seven major plates that make up most of the seven continents, and the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. A major plate is any plate with an area greater than 20 million kilometers squared.
As the plates move they may create volcanos, earthquakes, islands, or even a deep trench.
African Plate

The African Plate is flanked by the Red Sea rift where the Arabian Plate is moving away from the African Plate.

Antarctic Plate
Antarctica has few underwater volcanoes and Earthquakes rarely occur in Antarctica.
Indo Australian Plate

Indo-Australia Plate
The Indo-Australia plate is a major plate combining the Australian and Indian Plate, but they are widely considered to be two separate plates. The Australian Plate pushes into the Pacific Plate at the country of  New Zealand causing violent earthquakes. The Indian Plate and Eurasian Plate began colliding into each other millions of years ago creating the Himalayan mountain range.

North American Plate
This plate is the Earth's second-largest tectonic plate, behind the Pacific Plate. It extends east to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and west to the Chersky Range in eastern Siberia. The plate includes both continental and oceanic crust.

Pacific Plate
It is the largest tectonic plate with an area of  103 million square kilometers.
It includes the hot spot which formed the Hawaiian Islands.

South American Plate
This tectonic plate includes the continent of South America. It also includes part of the Atlantic Ocean and extends east to the African plate.

Eurasian Plate
This is a huge landmass with the traditional continents of Europe and northern Asia.

In addition, there are 8 minor plates. a minor plate is any plate with an area less than 20 million kilometers squared.

Arabian plate
Caribbean plate
Cocos plate
Juan de Fuca plate
Indian plate
Nazca plate
Philippine Sea plate ( also known as the Filipino plate)
Scotia plate


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