Plate Tectonics Theories Analysis
Since the beginning of human kind there has been a cloud of wonder regarding
the natural processes and patterns of our planet. Scientist interested in this field through
out the years, have developed many different theories to how our planet geological
features have come about. The most widely accepted theory in this field is that of plate
tectonics. For those who do not know much about the theory of plate tectonics; it states
that there are twenty plates that cover most of the Earth's surface area. These giant slabs
of rock are what is known as our lithosphere. These plates are said to slide on top of the
asthenosphere (an inner …show more content…
These plates move relative to one another above a
hotter, deeper, more stationary zone at average rates as great as a few inches per year.
Most of the world's active volcanoes are located along or near the boundaries between
shifting plates and are called plate-boundary volcanoes. The areas of the Pacific Ocean
Basin, containing the boundaries of several plates, are dotted with many active volcanoes
that form the so-called Ring of Fire. The Ring provides excellent examples of plate-
boundary volcanoes, including Mount St. Helens. Important evidence that supports the
theory of plate tectonics comes from the studies of the magnetic properties and the ages
of igneous rocks on the ocean floor. Some igneous rocks contain minerals that are
magnetic. These minerals provide a record of the direction of the Earth's magnetic field
at the time when the molten lava that formed the rock, cooled. A discovery that
geologists made was that some of the rocks also recorded reversals in the direction of the
magnetic field. Geologists also record the ages of igneous rocks on each side of what
what is known a mid-ocean ridge. Earth's mid-ocean ridges stretch around the planet.
Tectonically and volcanically active, they are the places where new crust forms.
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Plate tectonics is the theory that Earth's outer shell is divided into several plates that glide over the mantle, the rocky inner layer above the core. Compared to the mantle, the plates are a hard, tough, and rigid shell. California is made up of different types of plates that are unique in the way that they form and move. (LiveScience)
It is believed that this volcanic area was caused by a localised hot spot within the Pacific plate. A concentration of radioactive elements inside of the mantle may have caused this hot spot to develop. The hot spot is stationary so as the Pacific plate moves over it a line of volcanoes are made. This is more proof that the Earth’s crust is moving as suggested by Wegener.
II: Plate tectonics shows the features and movement of the Earth. The theory of plate tectonics says that the outer shell of the earth is broken down into pieces often called plates (Korenaga). These plates hover over the mantle creating movement (Marshak). With plate tectonics you can determine the earth’s features without actually seeing it.
The theory of plate tectonics was first developed by Alfred Wegener. He concluded that the continents seem to have a similar shape and could potentially fit together. This suggested that they were at one time joined together as part of 2 super continents called Gondwanaland and Laurasia was in the north. This theory was said to be proven by the discovery of fossilised remains of a mesosaurus that were found on the coasts of Brazil and Gabon. Sea floor spreading is another theory that supports the idea of plate tectonics; this theory discovered that rock is being formed under the ocean as a new sea floor. Sea floor spreading was shown in the Atlantic, where it is believed the Eurasian and North American plates are moving apart on a
The volcanoes are located where there is a divergence or convergence in the tectonic plates and bring their lava from the deepest of the terrestrial mantle. The materials and explosions of these ginates represent a constant risk in the places inhabited by the human being, nevertheless the people ususually live in these areas no matter the risk. On the other hand the volcanos can change the geology of an impressive form, or to cool the temperature of the earth, or to darken the sky. The scientific community increases its efforts to try to understand better what happens in volcanoes, however it is impossible to predict these conditions.
The new volcanic material welling up into the void, which forms a ribbon of new materials and breaks down its center gradually, when the plates move apart from the axis of the mid-oceanic ridge system. Therefore, every separating plate accretes one half a ribbon of new lithosphere, and, thus, a new surface is added (Pitman, W.C, 2007). The process is continuous, and separation is always happening at the
To support the theory of continental drift is through topography, surveying the floors of oceans, charts of rock magnetism, and statistics on rock ages (Trefil & Hazen, 2010). At one time scientist believed that the deep ocean floors were flat; accumulating the sediment that progressively wore away from the prehistoric landmasses (Trefil & Hazen, 2010). However, they discovered steep-walled valleys and elevated highlands. This was evidences that just as the continents are transformed and are active, so to is the seafloor (Trefil & Hazen, 2010). The Mid- Atlantic Ridge, positioned in the central part of the Atlantic Ocean, is recorded to be the longest mountain range on this planet. Volcanoes, lava flow, and earthquakes are a source of
The creation of the Ring of Fire is very interesting too, it is the result of plate tectonics. These are huge slabs of Earth’s crust that fit together like the pieces of a puzzle. These plates can collide, stay apart, or move up right next to each other. The convergent plate boundaries are formed by plates colliding into each other. The heavier plates slide under the lighter plates causing a deep trench in the ocean floor, as we talked about earlier. If you went down into the ocean you’d be able to see a bunch of trenches in the ocean floor running parallel to corresponding volcanic arcs like the Ring of Fire. This allows islands and continental mountain ranges to be created. A divergent boundary is formed by
The Earth’s outer crust is made up many tectonic plates that move over the surface of the planet. When the plates come collide, volcanoes will form sometime (National Ocean Service). Volcanoes can also form in the middle of a plate, where magma rises upward until it erupts on the sea floor, at what is called a “hot spot” (National Ocean Service). A hot spot is a plume of magma or molten rock that rises from within the Earth then reaches the surface forming underwater volcanoes which may grow tall enough to
Plate tectonics is the scientific theory that attempts to explain the movements of the Earth's lithosphere that have formed the landscape features we see across the globe today” (Briney). Geology defines “plate” as a large slab of solid rock, and “tectonics” is part of the Greek root word for “to build.” Together the words define how the Earth’s surface is built up of moving plates. The theory of plate tectonics dictates that individual plates, broken down into large and small sections of rock, form Earth’s lithosphere. These fragmented bodies of rock move along each other atop the Earth’s liquid lower mantle to create the plate boundaries that have shaped Earth’s landscape. Plate tectonics originated from meteorologist Alfred Wegener’s theory, developed in the early 20th century. In 1912, he realized that the east coast of South America and the west coast of Africa appeared to piece together like a jigsaw puzzle. He further examined the globe and deduced that all of Earth’s continents could somehow be assembled together and proposed the idea that the continents had once been linked in a single supercontinent called Pangaea. To explain today’s position of the continents, Wegener theorized that they began to drift apart approximately 300 million years ago. This theory
The earth’s crust is made out of plate tectonics. Each plate has a defined boundary and direction it moves. The plates in Earth’s crust perform two actions; they submerge under each other or they spread out. The Pacific Plate is the largest plate and it borders around many plates. The Pacific Plate moves northwest. New crust is formed from magma outpours, which are a result of the zones spreading. The tectonic plates created the islands. When the tectonic plates move, it creates the change in geography. Active volcanoes together shape the way islands are build. The magma from the volcano and the deposits from the plate are needed to create
Australia is one of the continents over the world. The vast, varied land and the culture in this abundant place has a deep and lasting impact to the architectural design traditions—Tectonic. Tectonic can be regarded as one distinctive characteristic which is relating to building or architectural construction. It also gives ability for people to read a structure, or see how a structure was put together. Among those architects who had used this tradition in their designs, Donovan Hill and Glenn Murcutt, as Australian architectures, have their own style relates to tectonic. For example, Donovan Hill composes different materials and layered against with one another in D House, while Murcutt establishes a harmonious connection to the surrounding landscape and local climate with Magney House.
The Earth is always changing because of plate tectonics. Plate tectonics describes the behavior of earth's out shell, with pieces bumping and grinding each other about. Most of the world's active volcanoes are located along or near the boundaries between shifting plates and are called plate-boundary volcanoes. The Hawaiian Islands are one of the best examples of an intra-plate volcanic chain. They are developed by the northwest-moving Pacific Plate passing over an inferred hot spot that inmates the magma generating and volcano-formation process. The Ring of Fire in parts of the Pacific Ocean contain many active volcanoes which Mt. St. Helens is a part of. The zone along plate boundaries are the most geologically active regions on Earth.
The three major types of tectonic plates are divergent, subduction and transform. Divergent plates tend to move apart from each other. Subduction plates are when oceanic plate moves under a continental plate. This can cause volcanos to erupt and large sized earthquakes. Transform plates slide back and forth against one another. The Lithosphere consists of the Earths crust and uppermost mantle. The North American plate and the South American plate are the major plates of the lithosphere. The lithosphere also consists of the Pacific plate, the African plate and the Eurasian plate. The Pacific plate is the only major plate that is mainly underwater and is also the largest plate in the lithosphere. The Earth was once one large continental body called Pangea, before the plates started
The continental crust consists of igneous and sedimentary rocks. The oceanic crust consists of the same with a substantial layer of sediments above the rock. The crust covers the outer ridged layer of the earth called the lithosphere. The lithosphere is divided into seven main continental plates. These continental plates are constantly moving on a viscous base.