Molucca Sea Plate
|Molucca Sea Plate|
|1Relative to the African Plate|
The Molucca Sea Plate (also Molucca Sea Microplate) has been characterized by different investigators as both a former and current microplate in the Indonesian archipelago near the eastern portion of the Greater Sunda Islands.
The Molucca Sea Plate was theorised to be a small tectonic plate carrying northern Sulawesi, the Molucca Sea and a portion of the Banda Sea in a region littered with numerous small plates. The theory suggested a subduction zone lies along its northern border with the Sunda Plate. A small divergent boundary exists along the Sulawesi part of the border with the Banda Sea Plate and transitions into a convergent boundary as it bisects the Banda Sea; the rest of the borders being transform boundaries.
More recent scientific studies suggest the Molucca Sea Plate has been totally subsumed by the Halmahera Plate and the Sangihe Plate, so that no portion of the Molucca Sea Plate remains exposed to Earth's surface. The tectonic setting of this region is unique in that it is the only global example of an active arc-arc collision consuming an oceanic basin via subduction in two directions, between microplates Halmahera Plate and Sangihe Plate. To the Southeast is the Sorong Fault, a major lateral east-west fault in the region which separates Bird's Head Plate and Halmahera Plate.
- Bird, P. (2003). "An updated digital model of plate boundaries". Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 4 (3): 1027. doi:10.1029/2001GC000252.
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