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Plate Tectonics

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Matthew Lane

on 10 May 2017

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Transcript of Plate Tectonics

Plate Tectonics
Transform Plate Boundary
When plates slide past one another it is called a transform boundary
Mountains and Volcanoes
When rocks are squeezed together crust has to go somewhere
Some is pushed down
Some is pushed up
Forms mountains
Convergent Plate Boundary
When two plates collide it is called a convergent plate boundary
Divergent Plate Boundary
When two plates are moving apart it is called a divergent plate boundary
Faults and Earthquakes
As the crust is pushed, pulled and compressed plates can crack
Theory Of Plate Tectonics
After seafloor spreading proved that continents to drift scientists combined their data to develop the theory of plate tectonics
Earth's lithosphere floats on the asthenosphere and is broken down into plates
Large segments of Earth's crust
Oceanic: Denser and floats lower
Continental: less dense and floats higher
Earth's lithosphere is the upper rigid layers of the crust
Earth's asthenosphere is the plastic layer of the Earth beneath the lithosphere
As plates move they may collide, move apart, or slide side by side
Where plates meet is called a plate boundary
Seafloor spreading is an example of divergent boundary when two oceanic plates are separating
A rift valley forms when a divergent boundary separates continental crust
Magma rises to Earth's surface and cools into new rock
Pushes old rock aside and spreads the plates apart
Rising magma creates a series of volcanoes along the boundary
Separating crust also creates cracks in the Earth called faults when rock is under pressure
When oceanic crust collides with continental crust it creates a subduction zone
Denser ocean crust subducts under the continent
Creates trenches, volcanoes, and mountains
When two of the same type of plate collide no subduction zone forms
This creates large mountain ranges and earthquakes
No volcanoes because crust doesn't melt
Plates grind as they move creating friction
Friction can cause plates to get stuck and then suddenly jump creating large earthquakes
Friction causes the crust to crack forming faults and earthquakes
Causes of Plate Tectonics
Magma rising and falling within the mantle causes plate tectonics
Hot less dense mantle material rises to the surface and cooler denser material sinks
Creates convection currents that drive tectonics
Rising mantle material breaks through the surface at divergent boundaries
Older rock is pushed up, down, or compressed to make room for the new rock
Earth doesn't get any bigger because rock material is recycled and nothing new is created
These cracks are called faults
Normal faults: Cased by tension, rock above the fault sinks
Reverse Faults: Rock above fault is compressed, pushed up
Strike-slip: Rocks moves passed each other
Earthquakes occur along faults
Focus: Point in the Earth where quake plates moved
Epicenter: Point on Earth's surface where the quake started
If rock is pushed deep enough it will melt
Magma returns to the surface creating a volcanic mountain range or island arc
Some volcanoes are also created by hot spots
Stationary area where magma rises to the surface
Creates a chain of volcanic islands as plates move
Full transcript