Approximate surface projection on Pacific Ocean of minor plates. Key:
  (red orange) New Hebrides Plate
  (brown) Balmoral Reef Plate - pale brown ? bordering block
  (orange) Conway Reef Plate
  (blue) Active subduction trenches
  (yellow) Spreading centers or rifts
Seismic context, is shown in a map in the article Vanuatu subduction zone. Mouse over shows feature names.[1][2][3]
Map of the Balmoral Reef Plate (as "Récif Balmoral") and its neighbouring plates (in French)

The Balmoral Reef Plate is a small tectonic plate (microplate) located in the south Pacific north of Fiji.[4] Clockwise from the north, it borders the Pacific Plate, the Australian Plate, Conway Reef Plate, and the New Hebrides Plate. The northern and western borders are a divergent boundary while the rest of the borders are transform and convergent boundaries. The Balmoral Reef Plate's ocean crust is less than 12 million years old and is spreading between the New Hebrides and Tonga subduction.[5][6] The plate forms the west central part of the seafloor of the North Fiji Basin.

The plate's movement vectors, as accepted today, were first proposed in 2003 by Bird.[4] Its boundaries and angular momentum were further defined in 2011 and 2018 with refinement of tectonic plate deformation and strain rate.[7][8]. The Balmoral Reef Plate however may be less rigid, as assummed in such modelling, as it is dominated by active deformation zones.[9] The region is complex and may well have several other microplates or blocks.[3]. To the west its triple junction with the Pacific Plate and the Australian Plate is quite close to the western triple junction of the Futuna Plate.

See also


  1. ^ Argus, Gordon & DeMets 2011, Table S2.
  2. ^ Covellone, Savage & Shen 2015, Fig 5 (a),(b).
  3. ^ a b Szitkar et al. 2022, 2. Regional geological context.
  4. ^ a b Bird 2003, 5.12. New Hebrides (NH), Conway Reef (CR), Balmoral Reef (BR), and Futuna (FT) Plates(?) in the New Hebrides-Fiji Orogen.
  5. ^ Hall 2002, p. 388.
  6. ^ Richards, Holm & Barber 2011, p. 789.
  7. ^ Argus, Gordon & DeMets 2011, P2, Tables 1-3, Table S2.
  8. ^ Wang et al. 2018, Table 1.
  9. ^ Matsuyama & Iwamori 2016, Section:Analysis of individual plates.


  • Bird, Peter (2003). "An updated digital model of plate boundaries". Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 4 (3): 1027. Bibcode:2003GGG.....4.1027B. doi:10.1029/2001GC000252.
  • Argus, D. F.; Gordon, R. G.; DeMets, C. (2011). "Geologically current motion of 56 plates relative to the no‐net‐rotation reference frame". Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 12 (11): 1–13. Bibcode:2011GGG....1211001A. doi:10.1029/2011GC003751. Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  • Wang, S; Yu, H; Zhang, Q; Zhao, Y (15 May 2018). "Absolute plate motions relative to deep mantle plumes". Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 490: 88-99. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2018.03.021.
  • Hall, R. (2002). "Cenozoic geological and plate tectonic evolution of SE Asia and the SW Pacific: computer-based reconstructions, model and animations". Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. 20 (4): 353–431. Bibcode:2002JAESc..20..353H. doi:10.1016/S1367-9120(01)00069-4.
  • Richards, S; Holm, R; Barber, G (2011). "When slabs collide: A tectonic assessment of deep earthquakes in the Tonga-Vanuatu region". Geology. 39 (8): 787–790. Bibcode:2011Geo....39..787R. doi:10.1130/G31937.1. S2CID 140706943. Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  • Szitkar, F; Dyment, J; Pelleter, E; Thomas, Y; Marsset, B; Ker, S; Fouquet, Y (2022). "Effusive and explosive volcanism on the northern Futuna Ridge, Lau Basin: A combined bathymetric, magnetic and seismic investigation". Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 431 (107646). doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2022.107646.
  • Covellone, BM; Savage, B; Shen, Y (15 June 2015). "Seismic wave speed structure of the Ontong Java Plateau". Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 420: 140–50. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.03.033.
  • Matsuyama, T; Iwamori, H (2016). "Analysis of plate spin motion and its implications for strength of plate boundary". Earth, Planets and Space. 68: 1–9. doi:10.1186/s40623-016-0405-5.
  • Bird, P., Y. Y. Kagan, and D. D. Jackson, Plate tectonics and earthquake potential of spreading ridges and oceanic transform faults, in Plate Boundary Zones, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 30, edited by S. Stein and J. T. Freymueller, 203–218, AGU, Washington, D. C.,