Pacific Plate

The Pacific Plate is an oceanic tectonic plate that lies beneath the Pacific Ocean. At 105 million square kilometres, it is the largest tectonic plate.

The north-eastern side is a divergent boundary with the Explorer Plate, the Juan de Fuca Plate and the Gorda Plate forming respectively the Explorer Ridge, the Juan de Fuca Ridge and the Gorda Ridge. In the middle of the eastern side is a transform boundary with the North American Plate along the San Andreas Fault, and a boundary with the Cocos Plate. The south-eastern side is a divergent boundary with the Nazca Plate forming the East Pacific Rise.

The southern side is a divergent boundary with the Antarctic Plate forming the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge.

The western side, the plate is bounded by the Okhotsk Plate at the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench and the Japan Trench, forms a convergent boundary by subducting under the Philippine Sea Plate creating the Mariana Trench, has a transform boundary with the Caroline Plate, and has a collision boundary with the North Bismarck Plate.

In the south-west, the Pacific Plate has a complex but generally convergent boundary with the Indo-Australian Plate, subducting under it north of New Zealand forming the Tonga Trench and the Kermadec Trench. The Alpine Fault marks a transform boundary between the two plates, and further south the Indo-Australian Plate subducts under the Pacific Plate forming the Puysegur Trench. The southern part of Zealandia, which is to the east of this boundary, is the plate's largest block of continental crust.

The northern side is a convergent boundary subducting under the North American Plate forming the Aleutian Trench and the corresponding Aleutian Islands.

The Pacific Plate contains an interior hot spot forming the Hawaiian Islands.

Hillis and Müller are reported to consider the Bird's Head Plate to be moving in unison with the Pacific Plate. Bird considers them to be unconnected.

Read more about Pacific Plate:  Paleo-geology of The Pacific Plate

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