Plate Tectonics Essay

742 Words Jul 16th, 2013 3 Pages
A plate tectonic is defined as a solid rock mass that builds up the Earth’s surface. The plate tectonic theory is a theory that geologists use to help explain the surface processes and events. The word plate means large pieces of the earth that are always in motion, lithosphere plates. Tectonics means how the continents formed and move over time. This is the theory that most geologists accept as to what happened to our continents. It states that Earth is made up of two layers, the lithosphere, outer, and the inner asthenosphere.

Lithosphere is made up different chemicals and uneven rocks. They are however, very rigid and brittle. The lithosphere is made up of ten major plates. Its major plates are the
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When looking at this, it appears like two cars crashing into each other very slowly. The front ends fold and bend with the edge of the continental plate folding into a mountain range. You will also notice that the edge of the oceanic plate has bent down. This makes the rock in both plates break and slip, causing earthquakes. As the edge of the oceanic plate digs into Earth's hot interior, some of the rock in it melts. Convergent boundaries are dangerous places to live. Some insist that with careful planning and preparation, this land is livable.
There are also divergent boundaries where plates seem to come apart. When the lithosphere of Earth is pulled apart, it tends to break and separate along the boundary. This is a slow process. The block between the faults cracks and drops down into the asthenosphere. The sinking of the block forms a rift and liquid rock fills the cracks. New crust is formed along the boundary. Earthquakes occur near the faults with volcanoes forming where the magma reaches the surface. When a divergent boundary crosses the land, the rift valleys created are usually between 30-50 km wide. One can see this in the East Africa rift in Kenya.

There third boundary that occurs is the transform boundary. This boundary is the least spectacular of them. This boundary happens when plates slide past each other. This means that plates are not tearing each other apart. The sliding motion of them does cause a lot of earthquakes. Transform boundaries

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