Antarctic Plate

The Antarctic Plate is a tectonic plate containing the continent of Antarctica, the Kerguelen Plateau, and some remote islands in the Southern Ocean and other surrounding oceans. After breakup from Gondwana (the southern part of the supercontinent Pangea), the Antarctic plate began moving the continent of Antarctica south to its present isolated location, causing the continent to develop a much colder climate.[2] The Antarctic Plate is bounded almost entirely by extensional mid-ocean ridge systems. The adjoining plates are the Nazca Plate, the South American Plate, the African Plate, the Somali Plate, the Indo-Australian Plate, the Pacific Plate, and, across a transform boundary, the Scotia Plate.

Antarctic Plate
TypeMajor
Approximate area60,900,000 km2 (23,500,000 sq mi)[1]
Movement1South-west
Speed112–14 mm (0.47–0.55 in)/year
FeaturesAntarctica, Kerguelen Plateau, Southern Ocean
1Relative to the African Plate

The Antarctic Plate has an area of about 60,900,000 km2 (23,500,000 sq mi).[3] It is Earth's fifth-largest tectonic plate.

The Antarctic Plate's movement is estimated to be at least 1 cm (0.4 in) per year towards the Atlantic Ocean.[4]


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