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Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536
Textbook Problem

Why is plate tectonics a better name than continental drift for the lateral movement of Earth’s solid outer shell?

To determine

The reason why plate tectonics is a better name than continental drift for the lateral movement of the Earth’s solid outer shell.

Explanation

Plate tectonics theory explains the movement of the lithosphere. The lithosphere is the large rigid and brittle outer covering of the Earth that is broken into numerous sections called lithospheric plates. These plates are overlain, and are being carried along by the plastic asthenosphere. The lithospheric plates are also called tectonic plates. Most of the tectonic and volcanic activities occur along plate boundaries, where the large segments separate, collide, or slide past each other. Lithospheric plates involve the upper mantle, continental crust, and oceanic crust.

The mechanism involved for plate tectonics is convection. The convection currents driven by heat causes materials in the mantle to rise toward the bottom of the lithosphere, where the flow of materials becomes more horizontal...

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