How is the rate of plate movement determined?

The rate of plate movement is determined through the strips of the normal and reverse magnetic fields that parallel the mid-oceanic ridges.

According to the theory of Plate Tectonics, the earth’s lithosphere is divided into seven major and some minor plates. And these plates have been constantly moving over the globe throughout the history of the earth. Continents are part of a plate and these also move along with the plates.

The rates of plate movement vary considerably. The Arctic Ridge has the slowest rate (less than 2.5 cm/yr), and the East Pacific Rise near Easter Island, in the South Pacific about 3,400 km west of Chile, has the fastest rate (more than 15 cm/yr).

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