One of the present-day major lithospheric plates, consisting of the continental mass of Africa surrounded, except to the north, by oceanic crust and oceanic ridges. To the north, a complex picture of collision and subduction zones and transform faults has been postulated for the boundary with the Eurasian Plate and various minor plates, e.g. the Aegean Plate. The northern part of the African Plate also contains remnants of the oceanic crust of Tethys. To the north-east the Red Sea is interpreted as an actively forming ocean, at the young stage of the Wilson cycle, while the E. African rifts, partially defining what is called by some the ‘Somali Plate’ to the east, may be at the embryonic stage of ocean development, or possibly a stillborn ocean.
Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.