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

What drives plate tectonics?

Plate tectonics was founded in the late 1960s, and it concerns the distribution and movements of plates, the uppermost layer of the Earth. Plate movements not only control the distributions of earthquakes, volcanoes, and ...

Ancient drop of water rewrites Earth's history

The remains of a microscopic drop of ancient seawater has assisted in rewriting the history of Earth's evolution when it was used to re-establish the time that plate tectonics started on the planet.

Researchers solve 'hot spot' debate

Volcanic hot spots such as the ones that created the Hawaiian Islands have long been considered stationary points, created by processes deep within the earth's interior.

page 1 from 23

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.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA