South American plate

tectonic plate
The South American plate

The South American plate is a major tectonic plate which includes the continent of South America. It also includes part of the Atlantic Ocean seabed. This extends east to the African plate. They meet at the southern part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

The easterly edge is a divergent boundary because it has been moving west for about 60 million years. Its western and southern edges are complicated, with a number of small plates. The Nazca plate on the western edge is moving under the South American plate. This subduction has caused the Andes mountain chain.