Tectonic plates may collide faster...

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AlexanderIII

Senior Member
Russian
Dear all,
could you please help me out with a difficult phrase from the educational film 'Underwater universe' (ep. 1)?

The phrase is:

THERE IS ONE PLACE WHERE TECTONIC PLATES MAY COLLIDE FASTER THAN ANYWHERE ON THE PLANET: THE TONGA TRENCH.

I wonder how to interpret the phrase and can see 3 variants:
1) TECTONIC PLATES move at greater speed than anywhere on the planet;
2) the force of collision is greater than anywhere on the planet (which in fact is about the same as the previous);
3) TECTONIC PLATES COLLIDE more frequently THAN ANYWHERE ON THE PLANET; (this one seems most probable, but the wording confuses me)

Which variant is correct?
 
  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The English says 'may collide faster'.
    Since the movement of tectonic plates is continuous, this can only mean 'may be colliding faster' than anywhere else.
    This means: it may be that at this spot the speed of collision of the plates is greater than anywhere else.
     
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