Subduction controls the distribution and fragmentation of Earth’s tectonic plates

@article{Mallard2016SubductionCT,
  title={Subduction controls the distribution and fragmentation of Earth’s tectonic plates},
  author={Claire Mallard and Nicolas Coltice and Maria Seton and R. Dietmar M{\"u}ller and Paul James Tackley},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2016},
  volume={535},
  pages={140-143}
}
The theory of plate tectonics describes how the surface of Earth is split into an organized jigsaw of seven large plates of similar sizes and a population of smaller plates whose areas follow a fractal distribution. The reconstruction of global tectonics during the past 200 million years suggests that this layout is probably a long-term feature of Earth, but the forces governing it are unknown. Previous studies, primarily based on the statistical properties of plate distributions, were unable… 
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