Plate Tectonics

  • Pangaea was a supercontinent, which existed around 300 million years ago. It was a single landmass on the earth.
  • Continental drift theory was given by Alfred Wegener, who explained that the super continent Pangaea broke into smaller continents.
  • By 1968, a bigger theory than Continental Drift called the Plate Tectonics unfolded.
  • The Plate Tectonics theory combined the continental drift with the idea of seafloor spreading.
  • Growth of mountains occurs by one or two different geological processes. The first process is volcanism. Second mountain building process is tectonic activity.
  • Plate Tectonics theory states that outer lithosphere is made up of several plates. These plates are not permanent in their positions.
  • Tectonic plates are composed of two types of the lithosphere: thicker continental crust and thinner oceanic crust.
  • All major interactions between plates occur at plate boundaries. Plate boundaries are the regions where earthquakes and volcanic activities take place.
  • These are of three types, namely, divergent boundaries, convergent boundaries, and transform fault boundaries.
  • In divergent boundaries, plates move apart from each other.
  • In convergent boundaries, plates move towards each other. One plate goes under the other.
  • In transform fault boundaries, plates slide past each other. In the process, they scrape and push up the land.
  • The lithospheric plate systems consist of twelve major plates. Six are called the great plates. These are the Pacific Plate, the American Plate, the Eurasian plate, the African plate, the Australo-Indian Plate, and the Antarctic Plate.
  • Theory of Plate Movement describes the plate movement and the effects of this motion.
  • Three main theories are put forth by the scientists. These are convection, gravity, and weight of rock.
  • Convection current in the mantle is formed because of the heat inside the earth.
  • Plates could be sliding slowly downhill under the influence of gravity.
  • Weight of rock changes when the hot rock cools as it becomes heavier and sinks down pulling the rest of plate with itself.
  • Earth is the only planet in solar system to exhibit plate tectonics.
  • Thus, plate tectonics are important as they influence not only the distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes but also the wind currents and weather patterns. Plate tectonics also play a role in balancing the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Plate tectonics make our world dynamic and ever changing.
  • Pangaea was a supercontinent, which existed around 300 million years ago. It was a single landmass on the earth.
  • Continental drift theory was given by Alfred Wegener, who explained that the super continent Pangaea broke into smaller continents.
  • By 1968, a bigger theory than Continental Drift called the Plate Tectonics unfolded.
  • The Plate Tectonics theory combined the continental drift with the idea of seafloor spreading.
  • Growth of mountains occurs by one or two different geological processes. The first process is volcanism. Second mountain building process is tectonic activity.
  • Plate Tectonics theory states that outer lithosphere is made up of several plates. These plates are not permanent in their positions.
  • Tectonic plates are composed of two types of the lithosphere: thicker continental crust and thinner oceanic crust.
  • All major interactions between plates occur at plate boundaries. Plate boundaries are the regions where earthquakes and volcanic activities take place.
  • These are of three types, namely, divergent boundaries, convergent boundaries, and transform fault boundaries.
  • In divergent boundaries, plates move apart from each other.
  • In convergent boundaries, plates move towards each other. One plate goes under the other.
  • In transform fault boundaries, plates slide past each other. In the process, they scrape and push up the land.
  • The lithospheric plate systems consist of twelve major plates. Six are called the great plates. These are the Pacific Plate, the American Plate, the Eurasian plate, the African plate, the Australo-Indian Plate, and the Antarctic Plate.
  • Theory of Plate Movement describes the plate movement and the effects of this motion.
  • Three main theories are put forth by the scientists. These are convection, gravity, and weight of rock.
  • Convection current in the mantle is formed because of the heat inside the earth.
  • Plates could be sliding slowly downhill under the influence of gravity.
  • Weight of rock changes when the hot rock cools as it becomes heavier and sinks down pulling the rest of plate with itself.
  • Earth is the only planet in solar system to exhibit plate tectonics.
  • Thus, plate tectonics are important as they influence not only the distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes but also the wind currents and weather patterns. Plate tectonics also play a role in balancing the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Plate tectonics make our world dynamic and ever changing.

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