Letter | Published:

Stability of quadruple junctions


THE analysis of triple junctions (points on the Earth where three lithospheric plates meet) has proved to be a powerful tool in deciphering the plate tectonic evolution of the Earth. In their classic paper on the evolution of triple junctions1, McKenzie and Morgan dismissed the possibility of stable quadruple junctions existing more than instantaneously. We show here that quadruple junctions can be stable according to the vector velocity stability criteria of McKenzie and Morgan.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    McKenzie, D. P. & Morgan, W. J. Nature 224, 125 (1969).

  2. 2

    York, D. Nature 244, 341 (1973).

  3. 3

    York, D. Can. J. Earth Sci. 12, 516 (1975).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.