The African plate is one of the largest continental plates (also called " tectonic plates " ) of the earth. It covers the entire African continent and part of the surrounding seas, lying on oceanic crust.
The African plate borders - from the north clockwise - to the Eurasian plate, the Apulian plate, the Hellenic plate, the Anatolian plate, the Arabian plate, the Indian plate, the Australian plate, Antarctic plate, the South and the North American Plate. May exist in the transition zones to the large neighboring plates some more smaller plates; their existence has not yet been unequivocally ascertained. 60 million years ago the Apulian plate was welded to the European continent in the north, the Adriatic spur was a substantial cause of the folding of the Alps. Between the Apulian plate and Africa there must henceforth be a branched system of a convergent plate boundary that runs partly on the continent, partly on the offshore oceanic crust.
The African plate has in its eastern part to a huge fault system; along the Great African grave breach could arise a new constructive plate boundary. The seceding eastern part is usually referred to as Somali Somali plate or plate. West of the Somali plate is the Nubian plate. Between these two major lithospheric plates are more small fragments, so-called micro plates postulated. This assumption is based on GPS measurements that indicate different absolute movements of different measurement points. As boundary lines between the individual plates while zones are assumed to be stronger earthquake activity. Accordingly, the Victoria plate would lie between the western and the eastern branch of the East African grave system, as well as south of the Rowumaplatte. The northern Madagascar may be partly due to the future Somali plate according to a study, while the southern area of the microplate was associate with the label Lwandleplatte.