Earth's Tectonic Plates

Earth's Tectonic Plates

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Caption: Earth's tectonic plates (contours outlined in red). The Earth's surface is divided up into several major plates. These are rocky slabs that float and move on the more fluid layer beneath them. The boundaries between plates are geologically active areas where the majority of the world's volcanoes and earthquakes occur. Current direction of movement is indicated by green arrows. The seven major plates shown here include the Pacific Plate (dark purple), North American Plate (orangey-brown), African Plate (blue), Eurasian Plate (red), South American Plate (pink), Indo-Australian Plate (olive green), and the Antarctic Plate (grey). Some other plates include the Arabian Plate (brown), Nazca Plate (yellow), Cocos Plate (cobalt), Caribbean Plate (bright green).

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