Coconut platter

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Continental plates

The coconut plate is a lithospheric plate in the eastern Pacific . It is named after the Cocos Island .


The small plate is located west of Central America and the states of Mexico , Guatemala , El Salvador , Nicaragua and Costa Rica . It is located east of the Pacific Plate , south of the North American Plate , west of the Caribbean Plate and north of the Nazca Plate .

Tectonics and history

On the western and southern borders of the coconut plate, rising magma leads to the ocean floor spreading , while the plate slides under the lighter plates on its eastern and northern borders and creates the Central America Trench there. As a result, a volcanic belt forms on the Central American mainland, with stratovolcanoes such as the 2,381 meter high Santa Ana in El Salvador.

The Cocos and Nazca plates only emerged from the earlier Farallon plate about 23 million years ago . After the separation of the two plates , a complex fracture pattern called the "Cocos - Nazca Spreading Center" (CNS) formed on the eastern edge of the fracture zone, due to the subduction of both plates and a hot spot below the Galápagos Islands . This created several small rift zones and ridges there - for example the Costa Rica Rift, Ecuador Rift and Galápagos Rift and the Cocos Ridge, Coiba Ridge, Malpelo Ridge and Carnegie Ridge.

To the north of the Cocos Plate are the Orozco Fracture Zone and the Clipperton Fracture Zone with Clipperton Island to the west and the Tehuantepec Ridge to the east. The western boundary of the Cocos Plate is part of the East Pacific Ridge .

See also

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