One of the seven major plates moving about on the earth's surface.
The Pacific Plate is an oceanic plate
and covers about 20% of the
earth's surface. It is moving northwest at a rate
of about 2 cm/year.
Boardering the southeastern side of the Pacific plate is the East Pacific Rise
located in the center of the Pacific Ocean
. It is a spreading center
which causes the plate to move toward the northwest.
The northeastern margin (near California
) of the Pacific Plate is
forces as the North American plate
it. This creates a good deal of earthquake
activity in western
Towards the north and western ends, the Pacific Plate is being subducted by
the North American Plate, the Eurasian Plate, the Phillippine
Sea plate and
the Indian-Australian plate. Subduction along the western boundaries
creates the deep-sea trench
es and volcanic island
s that occur in these areas.
For more information on this subject, see plate tectonics