Sudden and Violent Shifting of Tectonic Plates Cause Earthquakes

929 WordsFeb 3, 20184 Pages
Earthquakes are a natural phenomena caused by the violent and sudden shifting of plates along tectonic boundaries. Movement of tectonic plates releases stored energy producing seismic waves, which travel through the solid rock of the upper layers of the earth’s crust. Earthquakes occur along belts, circum-Pacific or Alpine, located near the edges of tectonic plates. Energy released by the interaction between two plates can produce severe damage to the surrounding environment. Earthquakes occur along tectonic plate boundaries and fault lines. Movement of tectonic plates can be associated with three different types of boundaries: divergent, convergent, and transform. The lithosphere forms the outer most layer of the earth’s crust, which over lays a hotter, softer layer called the asthenosphere. A divergent boundary is located along a margin where two plates are moving away from one another. As the two plates move away from one another magma flows up into the empty space, and forms a new section of the ocean floor. The creation of a new sea floor along a divergent boundary produces oceanic ridges. The best know example of this type of boundary is the mid- Atlantic ridge. Convergent boundaries occur in area’s where two plates merge forcing the lithosphere below the asthenosphere. Once the lithosphere is forced back down into the earth, it is melted and reused as magma volcanic arcs. This type of boundary forms oceanic trenches. Transform boundary occurs when two continental

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