These average rates of plate separations can range widely. The Arctic Ridge has the slowest rate (less than 2.5 cm/yr), and the East Pacific Rise near Easter Island, in the South Pacific about 3,400 km west of Chile, has the fastest rate (more than 15 cm/yr).
What is the fastest moving tectonic plate?
The Pacific, Nazca, Cocos, and Indian plates are moving faster than the slower moving North American, South American, and Antarctic plates.
Why is the Pacific plate moving faster?
The Pacific Plate is being moved north west due to sea floor spreading from the East Pacific Rise (divergent margin) in the Gulf of California. The North American Plate is being pushed west and north west due to sea floor spreading from the Mid Atlantic Ridge (divergent margin).
How fast is each tectonic plate moving?
The movement of the plates creates three types of tectonic boundaries: convergent, where plates move into one another; divergent, where plates move apart; and transform, where plates move sideways in relation to each other. They move at a rate of one to two inches (three to five centimeters) per year.
How fast is Australia’s tectonic plate moving?
Australia’s continental tectonic plate is moving north at a rate of seven centimeters per year (almost 3 inches a year), Jaksa said, and mapping systems haven’t kept pace.
What is the slowest tectonic plate?
For instance, looking at the digital tectonic activity map, it isn’t hard to notice that the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate are two of the slowest moving plates in the world, and should be both moving to the east.
What causes a tectonic plate to move?
The heat from radioactive processes within the planet’s interior causes the plates to move, sometimes toward and sometimes away from each other. This movement is called plate motion, or tectonic shift.
What would happen if the tectonic plates continue to move?
Plate tectonics moves the continents around on a scale of 100s of millions of year. … Plate tectonics also has an impact on longer-term climate patterns and these will change over time. It also changes ocean current patterns, heat distribution over the planet, and the evolution and speciation of animals.
Is Hawaii moving towards Japan?
Where will the Big Island go as it moves from the focus of heat and volcanism? Presently the Hawaiian Islands and our part of the Pacific plate are moving northwest at about 100 mm (4 in.) … The trajectory of motion points toward Hokkaido on the northern part of the Japanese Island chain, 6,300 km (3,900 mi) away.
How much do plates move in an earthquake?
These plates are constantly moving (albeit very slowly) at rates up to four inches per year (10 cm/yr) although most rates of travel are considerably less. Also, the rate of travel varies at different locations within each plate. The world’s major tectonic plates.
Does Earth become smaller or bigger when plates move?
But the Earth isn’t getting any bigger. … In locations around the world, ocean crust subducts, or slides under, other pieces of Earth’s crust. The boundary where the two plates meet is called a convergent boundary. Deep trenches appear at these boundaries, caused by the oceanic plate bending downward into the Earth.
What is the largest tectonic plate?
California is located at the seam of the Pacific Plate, which is the world’s largest plate at 39,768,522 square miles, and the Northern American plate.
How do plate tectonics affect humans?
Plate tectonics affects humans in several important ways. What would Earth be like without plate tectonics? We’d have many fewer earthquakes and much less volcanism, fewer mountains, and probably no deep-sea trenches. … In other words, the Earth would be a much different place.
Is Australia moving towards Asia?
The eastern part (Australia) is moving northward at the rate of 5.6 cm (2.2 in) per year while the western part (India) is moving only at the rate of 3.7 cm (1.5 in) per year due to the impediment of the Himalayas.
Is Australia moving closer to Antarctica?
Over the next 100m years, the position of Australia moved steadily south, towards more temperate zones, and finally to the edge of the Antarctic Circle by roughly 270m years ago (seven minutes ago, in our geofilm). … Finally, about 150m years ago, Australia begins to slowly move back towards the equator.
Is New Zealand moving away from Australia?
A massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake last week has moved the south of New Zealand closer to Australia, scientists say. With the countries separated by the 2250-kilometre-wide Tasman Sea, the 30-centimetre closing of the gap in New Zealand’s south-west won’t make much difference.