North American plate
The North American plate is a large tectonic plate. It covers most of North America. Also it includes Greenland, Cuba, the Bahamas, extreme northeastern Asia, and parts of Iceland and the Azores. Its area is 76,000,000 km2 (29,000,000 sq mi). It is the Earth's second largest tectonic plate, behind the Pacific Plate (which borders the plate to the west).
It extends east to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and west to the Chersky Range in eastern Siberia. The plate includes both continental and oceanic crust. The interior of the landmass is an extensive granitic craton. Along most of the edges of this craton are fragments of crustal material called terranes. They are stuck on (accreted) to the craton over a long span of time. Much of North America west of the Rocky Mountains is composed of such terranes.
References[change | change source]
- Summerfield M.A. 1991. Global geomorphology. Pearson. ISBN 9780582301566