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. This theory is more fully discussed in the article Molucca Sea Collision Zone.
Large earthquakes frequently strike this area sometimes triggering tsunamis.