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Andrew Alden

How Many Plates Are There?

By November 18, 2008

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The answer to this question is now a Plate Tectonic FAQ.


November 18, 2008 at 10:00 pm
(1) Holly says:

Good topic – I was just looking this up the other day, and getting frustrated by the lack of a specific answer.

November 19, 2008 at 7:36 pm
(2) Geology Guide says:

I should add an earnest plea to the U.S. Geological Survey: Please, please draw up a new world plate map for us, one that comports with current practice.

November 20, 2008 at 2:56 pm
(3) Matt Affolter says:

If you wanna get into something really sticky, check out the boundary between the North American Plate and the Euasian plate (Sea of Okhotsk area). Not only is it poorly defined (many plate tectonic maps neglect it all together), but there are several possible microplates along it. From what I’ve seen, it is apparently such a slow relative motion between the plates that it is barely expressed tectonically, leaving it hard to explore the tectonics. Of course, the weather doesn’t help either.

November 24, 2008 at 5:34 am
(4) Mike Scott says:

So it’s not just me !…. I got out an old globe last week so I could mark out the plate boundaries.Obviously I searched for maps of tectonic plates and boundaries so I could get it right. Not so easy …they don’t all agree.
So I ended up with my own interpretation as a synthesis of the data I had looked at.

December 4, 2008 at 4:00 pm
(5) anna says:

i think you should number them all but i think that the rest is good.

December 12, 2008 at 2:10 am
(6) Paras Mahajan says:

I can really say that its a very good try..but this dynamic globe have some more secrets still to be revealed..

August 22, 2011 at 9:53 pm
(7) ashley says:

just tell me how many there are not how many big one how many there are period!

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