Scotia Plate

Topics: Plate tectonics, Earth, Atlantic Ocean Pages: 2 (458 words) Published: October 9, 2012
The theory of plate tectonics states that the Earth’s lithosphere is broken up into many different pieces separated by jagged cracks. These are called the tectonic plates. They are in slow, constant motion pushed by the convection currents in Earth’s asthenosphere. This theory explains the process of sea floor spreading at mid-ocean ridges, and subduction at deep ocean trenches. It was proposed by J. Tuzo Wilson in 1965. He combined the discoveries of Harry Hess and Alfred Wegner to support this theory. One of the tectonic plates is the Scotia plate. It is an oceanic plate which stretches from the southern tip of South America, to the center of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Scotia Plate is named after the expedition ship Scotia which was used in it’s waters. It was a ship from Scotland, there for the purpose of improving knowledge of polar science. The South Sandwich microplate is moving away from it at a rate of seven cm per year. The Scotia plate is growing in size. It has come from a more eastern direction and is pushing west.

The Scotia plate is a fully oceanic plate. It is found under part of the Atlantic and Southern Oceans. The water above it is referred to as the Scotia sea. Near the North border there are many small islands. Also a chain of volcanic islands called the South Sandwich Islands are found west of the South Sandwich Trench. The eleven main islands listed from north to south are Zavodoviski, Viscoi, Lescov, Candelmas, Vindication, Saunders, Montagu, Bellingshausen, Thule, and Cook Islands.

The Scotia plate shares boundaries with the South American plate to the north, the Antarctic plate to the south and west, and the South Sandwich microplate to the east. The South Sandwich microplate is sometimes considered as a part of the Scotia plate. To the north and east the South Sandwich microplate is subducting under the South American Plate at a convergent boundary. This area is known as the South Sandawich trench. The Scotia plate forms a...
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