Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Global Plate Tectonics

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_935

Plate tectonics is a means of classifying Earth’s geological structures. Global tectonics emphasises that the lithosphere is composed of several relatively hard plates, and the cores of these plates are composed of relatively stable blocks (cratons). Suture zones with unique characteristics form plate boundaries. In 1967, McKenzie categorised these tectonic plates into: I. the Arabian plate; II. the Eurasian Plate; III. the Cocos Plate; IV. the North American Plate; V. the Caribbean Plate; VI. the South American Plate; VII. the Nazca Plate; VIII. the Antarctic Plate; IX. the Pacific Plate; X. the Philippine Sea Plate; XI. the Australian-Indian Plate; and XII. the African Plate. Although academics now have different classifications, the interpretation of the Earth’s crust as a whole is the current trend. Plate tectonics is also a method to interpret the development and evolution of different regions from a global perspective.

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