The Topography of Plate Tectonics in Google Earth

It’s somewhat surprising to me that after all the years that Google Earth Blog has been around, we’ve never seen a file that focuses on the plate tectonics of earth. We’ve discussed various earthquakes numerous times, but never simply the plate tectonics. Thankfully, George at MyReadingMapped has built an excellent map that gives a great overview of the topography of plate tectonics.

plate tectonics

From his site:

This documentary, in the form of a Google Map, attempts to put some real world topography to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Plate Tectonic map shown below that is featured on Wikipedia’s Plate Tectonics page. With the above Google map you can see the actual land and submarine topography that form the various tectonic plates. You can see the mid ocean ridges, ocean trenches, submarine volcanoes, and thermal vents that form the edges of the plates rather than rely on an abstract map like that shown below.

As with most of the work that George does, he’s included quite a few details. You can view the full map here or use this link to grab a KML file of it.

For more information, check out the full blog entry on MyReadingMapped. Great work George!

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. How fascinating, I was never much good at geography but I have a feeling this will get me back into it!

  2. MyReadingMapped has recently changed from a blog to a .com, so here is the new URL of the Google Map:

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