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plate tectonics, divergnece and hotspots

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What is the relevance of the age of the oceanic crusts and the continental crusts within the south American plate. Are there presence of hotspots on the plate? What is the process that is responsible for the change in area of the South American plate?

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Solution Summary

Addresses rates of sea-floor spreading as pertains to South America & hotspots thereon.

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OK, the quick answer is, is that the S Am plate is of differing age due to plate tectonics. That is, when the Pangaea supercontinent broke apart 190 million years ago, the Atlantic Ocean started to "become." As such, the continental part of the S Am plate was extant before the oceanic portion even existed. The growth along the mid-Atlantic ridge system [caused by sea-floor spreading] continues to add real estate along the eastern edge of this plate even now. The rate of increase .. the mid Atlantic ridge is spreading at about ...

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