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crustal plate


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Large sections or blocks of the Earth's crust, which are curved to the spherical shape of the Earth and fit together like a jigsaw. There are seven major plates (the North American, South American, African, Eurasian, Indo‐Australian, Pacific, and Antarctic plates) and at least twelve minor plates. These plates float on the asthenosphere, allowing them to move relative to one another, driven by sea‐floor spreading, giving rise to plate tectonics. Also known as plate, tectonic plate.

Subjects: Environmental Science.


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