What Type of Plate Boundaries Form the Red Sea?


Quick Answer

The Red Sea is bounded by the divergent boundaries of two tectonic plates. The northern Arabian tectonic plate has been moving away from Egypt's Nubian plate for 30 million years.

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What Type of Plate Boundaries Form the Red Sea?
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Full Answer

The Red Sea Rift is part of the Dead Sea Transform Fault system. The plates are sliding past one another near the Dead Sea, so in that area the plates have transform-fault boundaries. However, at the Red Sea the plates are pulling apart at the rate of about a centimeter a year. Divergent plate boundaries create rift valleys. Other rift valleys near the Red Sea include the East African Rift along the Nubian and Somali tectonic plates and the Ethiopian Rift, which intersects the Red Sea Rift.

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