Question: What Are The 12 Major Tectonic Plates?

How many major and minor tectonic plates are there?

Most of the Earth is covered by seven major plates and another eight or so minor plates.

The seven major plates include the African, Antarctic, Eurasian, North American, South American, India-Australian, and the Pacific plates.

Some of the minor plates include the Arabian, Caribbean, Nazca, and Scotia plates..

How many plate tectonics are there?

Plate tectonics on Earth, at present, consists of 12 large semirigid plates of irregular shapes and sizes that move over the surface, separated by boundaries that meet at triple junctions. There are also many broad zones of deformation. The seven major plates account for 94% of the surface area of Earth.

What causes the tectonic plates to move?

The plates can be thought of like pieces of a cracked shell that rest on the hot, molten rock of Earth’s mantle and fit snugly against one another. The heat from radioactive processes within the planet’s interior causes the plates to move, sometimes toward and sometimes away from each other.

How fast do tectonic plates move?

They move at a rate of one to two inches (three to five centimeters) per year.

What is the smallest tectonic plate?

Juan de Fuca PlateOne of the smallest of Earth’s tectonic plates, the Juan de Fuca Plate is a remnant part of the once-vast Farallon Plate, which is now largely subducted underneath the North American Plate.

What are the major tectonic plates?

These plates are named after the landforms found on them. The nine major plates are North American, Pacific, Eurasian, African, Indo-Australian, Australian, Indian, South American and Antarctic. The largest plate is the Pacific Plate at 39,768,522 square miles (103,000,000 square kilometers).

Which is largest tectonic plate?

Pacific plateThe one exception is the Pacific plate, which lies beneath the Pacific Ocean. Not only is this the only major tectonic plate that is mainly underwater, it is also the largest, spanning over 100 million square kilometers.

How thick are tectonic plates?

Plates are on average 125km thick, reaching maximum thickness below mountain ranges. Oceanic plates (50-100km) are thinner than the continental plates (up to 200km) and even thinner at the ocean ridges where the temperatures are higher.

How heavy is a tectonic plate?

The thickness of tectonic plates in general varies roughly in the range 100-200 km depending upon whether we are talking about oceanic or continental lithosphere; let’s call it 150 km or 1.5× 105 m. The density of lithospheric material varies in the range 2700-2900 kg m-3; we’ll use 2800 kg m-3.

What are the 4 types of tectonic plate movement?

What are the major plate tectonic boundaries?Divergent: extensional; the plates move apart. Spreading ridges, basin-range.Convergent: compressional; plates move toward each other. Includes: Subduction zones and mountain building.Transform: shearing; plates slide past each other. Strike-slip motion.

What are the 10 major tectonic plates?

Terms in this set (10)Pacific Plate.North American Plate.Cocos Plate.Nazca.South American Plate.African Plate.Eurasian Plate.Indian Plate.More items…