Topographic, magnetic, and earthquake epicenter data from the wholly submerged Central Indian Ridge were interpreted, using the Theory of Plate Tectonics. The pole of relative motion between the Indian and Somalian plates, lying at 16.0° N., 48.3° E. and with opening at 6.2 × 10−7 deg/yr, was obtained from the strike of fracture zones taken as transform faults and the spreading rates based on magnetic anomaly patterns. Since this pole appears to have moved little since the Miocene, the plate positions at that past time can be obtained by finite rotation about the present rotation pole. Such a reconstruction shows that the complicated nature of the present plate margins results from Miocene to Recent opening along a north-south fracture zone that existed in this area during an interval of rapid spreading in the late Cretaceous and early Tertiary.

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