The Role of the Knowledge of Plate Tectonics Essay

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The Role of the Knowledge of Plate Tectonics Plate tectonics helps us to understand three main things; the distribution of the worlds major landforms, where natural hazards such as volcanoes and earthquakes can strike, and the distribution of minerals and energy supplies. There are at seven main plates composed of the narrow crust that forms the outer shell or limosphere of the Earth. All of these plates are in continuous motion moving in different directions. This is continental drift and can be proven by fossil evidence, structure of continents and climatic change. This causes to plates to meet. Plate margins are the points at which the plates meet. There are three different types of…show more content…
Mauna Loa has been active for over 150 years, erupting on average every three years are a major tourist attraction. Where continental plates drift apart, the major landform created is a rift valley, for example that in East Africa. The doming up of the crust, as a result of the intense pressure from the convection currents within the mantle, leads to rocks splitting at their weakest point. Rift valleys occur where two parallel down- faults have produced a trough. The East African rift valley, beginning at river Jordan, stretches for over 4,000km. It is situated where the Arabian plate has separated from the African plate. Volcanoes are associated with the eastern rift, for example in Kenya and Tanzania, as the faults create an easy route for the lava to escape and reach the surface. This is a picture showing the Great Eastern rift valley. The conservative type plate boundary is where two plates pass each other rubbing in opposite ways. This friction is the main cause of earthquakes. If you compare a map showing where the conservative margins are located and where the world’s earthquakes mainly occur, you will find evidence of this. One example of an earthquake that occurred on a conservative plate margin is the 1999 earthquake, in Izmit, in western Turkey. The industrial city is located on the plate margin between the Eurasian and
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