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The geology of the Azores is dominated by volcanic activity that has been going on for up to 36 Ma. The Azores island group consists of nine main volcanic islands in three main groups built on an oceanic plateau, known as the Azores plateau. The islands are distributed around the complex triple junction between the North American Plate, Eurasian Plate and the African Plate.

Tectonic setting[edit]

Several different settings have been proposed to explain the existence and history of the Azores volcanoes.

Leaky transform[edit]

In the leaky transform model, the Azores-Gibraltar Transform Fault is not ideally orientated to accommodate the movement between the Eurasian and African plates, giving rise to a series of small spreading centres

Azores microplate[edit]

Azores hotspot[edit]

Western group[edit]

The western group consists of the islands of Corvo and Flores, which are located on the American Plate.

Central group[edit]

The central group consists of the islands of Faial, Pico, Terceira, Graciosa, Sao Jorge

Eastern group[edit]

Th eastern group consist of the islands of Sao Miguel and Santa Maria.