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tectonic plates click to hear : tectonic plates

Immense portions of the lithosphere that slide over the asthenosphere; this shifting movement shapes the Earth’s topography.
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Cocos Plate North American Plate Antarctic Plate Australian-Indian Plate Philippine Plate Eurasian Plate African Plate South American Plate Scotia Plate Nazca Plate Caribbean Plate Pacific Plate transform plate boundaries convergent plate boundaries divergent plate boundaries subduction

Cocos Plate click to hear : Cocos Plate

Plate along the coast of Mexico and Central America; it is sinking beneath the North American Plate and the Caribbean Plate.

North American Plate click to hear : North American Plate

Together with the Pacific Plate, this plate creates the San Andreas Fault (1,200 km), which extends from the Gulf of California to San Francisco.

Antarctic Plate click to hear : Antarctic Plate

The largest plate; it is stationary.

Australian-Indian Plate click to hear : Australian-Indian Plate

Plate that is moving north 7 cm per year; it forms the Red Sea by means of divergence from the African Plate.

Philippine Plate click to hear : Philippine Plate

Plate that forms the Philippines archipelago by means of subduction with the Eurasian Plate.

Eurasian Plate click to hear : Eurasian Plate

Plate converging with the Australian-Indian Plate; it created the Himalayas.

African Plate click to hear : African Plate

Plate that, diverging from the South American Plate, forms an underwater mountain chain.

South American Plate click to hear : South American Plate

Plate that forms the Andes cordillera by means of subduction with the Nazca Plate.

Scotia Plate click to hear : Scotia Plate

Small plate under which the Antarctic Plate and part of the South American Plate are sliding.

Nazca Plate click to hear : Nazca Plate

One of the most rapidly shifting plates, moving 7 cm per year.

Caribbean Plate click to hear : Caribbean Plate

Plate subducting under the American plates; the Caribbean Plate created the islands of the Lesser Antilles.

Pacific Plate click to hear : Pacific Plate

The only entirely oceanic plate, it is also among the most rapidly shifting plates (10 cm per year).

transform plate boundaries click to hear : transform plate boundaries

Plates that slide against each other, triggering earthquakes along faults of the same name.

convergent plate boundaries click to hear : convergent plate boundaries

Plates that collide, triggering either subduction or folding, which results in the creation of mountains.

divergent plate boundaries click to hear : divergent plate boundaries

Plates that are moving apart, causing magma to appear, which solidifies to generate a new crust.

subduction click to hear : subduction

Phenomenon by which an oceanic plate slides under a continental plate or under another oceanic plate, resulting in a trench.