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Nazca Plate
The Nazca Plate
Type Minor
Approximate area 15,600,000 km2
Movement1 north-east
Speed1 40-53 mm/year
Features Pacific Ocean
1Relative to the African Plate

The Nazca Plate is an oceanic tectonic plate in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

It is named after the Nazca region of southern Peru. The region is off the west coast of South America.

The ongoing subduction of the Nazca plate under the South American plate is largely responsible for the Andean orogeny.

The movement of the Nazca Plate over several hotspots has created some volcanic islands as well as east-west running seamount chains that subduct under South America. Nazca is a relatively young plate both in terms of the age of its rocks and its existence as an independent plate having been formed from the break-up of the Farallon Plate about 23 million years ago. The oldest rocks of the plate are about 50 million years old.

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