Related topics: quake · earth · earthquake · geologists · earth sciences

Spectators flock to Iceland volcano

Curious onlookers made their way Thursday to the site of a volcano erupting near Iceland's capital Reykjavik to marvel at the bubbling lava, a day after the fissure appeared in an uninhabited valley.

Deja vu as volcano erupts again near Iceland capital

A volcano erupted in Iceland on Wednesday near the capital Reykjavik, spewing red hot lava and plumes of smoke out of a fissure in an uninhabited valley after several days of intense seismic activity.

How did Earth avoid a Mars-like fate? Ancient rocks hold clues

Approximately 1,800 miles beneath our feet, swirling liquid iron in the Earth's outer core generates our planet's protective magnetic field. This magnetic field is invisible but is vital for life on Earth's surface because ...

Mars Express peers into Mars' 'Grand Canyon'

The latest image release from ESA's Mars Express takes us over two ruptures in the Martian crust that form part of the mighty Valles Marineris canyon system.

Scientists find oldest Martian meteorite's original home

Scientists announced Tuesday they had found the crater from which the oldest known Martian meteorite was originally blasted towards Earth, a discovery that could provide clues into how our own planet was formed.

Grain size of rocks in Earth's mantle affects tectonics

The planet is shaped by forces deep within its interior. These push the plates of the Earth's crust against each other, causing mountains and volcanoes to form along the collision zones. But when reconstructing what exactly ...

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Plate tectonics

Plate tectonics (from the Greek τέκτων; tektōn, meaning "builder" or "mason") describes the large scale motions of Earth's lithosphere. The theory encompasses the older concepts of continental drift, developed during the first decades of the 20th century by Alfred Wegener, and seafloor spreading, understood during the 1960s.

The lithosphere is broken up into what are called tectonic plates. In the case of Earth, there are currently eight major and many minor plates (see list below). The lithospheric plates ride on the asthenosphere. These plates move in relation to one another at one of three types of plate boundaries: convergent, or collisional boundaries; divergent boundaries, also called spreading centers; and transform boundaries. Earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain-building, and oceanic trench formation occur along plate boundaries. The lateral movement of the plates is typically at speeds of 50–100 mm annually.

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