Abstract

A recent Hydrosweep survey of the Wilkes transform system, the second-fastest-slipping transform on the mid-ocean ridge system, shows it to be a highly complex and continually evolving plate boundary. An area ∼50 km2 north of the eastern part of the Wilkes transform appears to be rotating counterclockwise in accordance with the theory of edge-driven microplate kinematics. We have called this region a "nannoplate" to distinguish it both as a separate small area of lithosphere between the Pacific and Nazca plates and as a smaller and less stable phenomenon than a microplate.

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