Arabian Plate

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Arabian Plate
Type Minor
Approx. Area 5,000,000 km2[1]
Movement1 north
Speed1 25–20 mm/year
Features Arabian peninsula, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean
1Relative to the African Plate

The Arabian Plate is a minor tectonic plate in the northern and eastern hemispheres. It is one of three continental plates (the African, Arabian, and Indian Plates) that have been moving northward in recent geological history and colliding with the Eurasian Plate. This is resulting in a mingling of plate pieces and mountain ranges extending in the west from the Pyrenees, crossing southern Europe and to Iran forming the Alborz and Zagros Mountains, to the Himalayas and ranges of southeast Asia.[2]

Eurasian, Anatolian and Arabian (purple coloring) plates


The Arabian Plate consists mostly of the Arabian peninsula; it extends eastward at the Sinai and the Red Sea and northward to the Levant. The plate borders are:

The Arabian Plate was part of the African plate during much of the Phanerozoic Eon (PaleozoicCenozoic), until the Oligocene Epoch of the Cenozoic Era. Red Sea rifting began in the Eocene, but the separation of Africa and Arabia occurred approximately 25 million years ago in the Oligocene, and since then the Arabian Plate has been slowly moving toward the Eurasian Plate.[4]

The collision between the Arabian Plate and Eurasia is pushing up the Zagros Mountains of Iran. Because the Arabian Plate and Eurasia plate collide, many cities are in danger such as those in south eastern Turkey (which is on the Arabian Plate). These dangers include earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes.


  2. Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "Tectonics of the Arabian Plate". The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. NASA. Archived from the original on 6 July 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>