The surface of the Earth is broken upwards into large plates. It’s easy to confuse these plates considering the Earth’s crust – the particular thin outermost layer belonging to the Earth. But there is more towards the structure of the Globe than this simple image on the ‘cracked egg-shell’.

The Earth’s layers can be defined in two different ways – based on the chemical composition or the mechanical properties of the rock. To understand just what exactly plates are, it is vital to understand both of those different models.
When we discuss tectonic or lithospheric discs, we mean the sections into which the lithosphere is cracked. The surface on the Earth is divided towards 7 major and 8 minor plates. The largest plates would be the Antarctic, Eurasian, and North United states plates. Plates are on average 125km thick, reaching optimum thickness below mountain runs. Oceanic plates (50-100km) are thinner versus continental plates (up to 200km) as well as thinner at the ocean ridges the location where the temperatures are higher. Some plates are large enough to incorporate both continental and oceanic crustal meals (e. g. the African or South American plates) though the Pacific Plate is definitely almost entirely oceanic.
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