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     The Arabian plate, shown in bright yellow
Closeup of the Arabian plate boundaries with the Eurasian, African and Indian plates.

The Arabian Plate is one of three tectonic plates (the African, Arabian and Indian crustal plates) which have been moving northward over millions of years 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 the Middle East, to the Himalayas and ranges of southeast Asia. [1]

The Arabian Plate consists mostly of the Arabian peninsula; it extends northward to Turkey. The plate borders are:

The Arabian Plate was part of the African plate during much of the Phanerozoic Eon (Paleozoic - Cenozoic), until the Oligocene Epoch of the Cenozoic Era. Red Sea rifting began in the Eocene, but the separation of Africa and Arabia occurred in the Oligocene, and since then the Arabian Plate has been slowly moving toward the Eurasian Plate.

The collision between the Arabian Plate and Eurasia is pushing up the Zagros Mountains of Iran.

Notes

  1. ^ "Tectonics of the Arabian Plate". NASA.gov. http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/handbooks/arabianpages/mainframe.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-21. 
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