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What is a Plate
Transcript of What is a Plate
What is a Plate
Plates are large pieces of the upper few hundred kilometers of Earth that move more or less as a single unit. It is easier to think of plates as rigid "rafts" floating on the mantle, but some plates also have some internal deformation. However, it is clear that the most active deformation of the plates occurs along their boundaries, where they interact with other plates.
Pangaea was a super continent that existed 300 million years ago, It started to break apart approximately 200 million years ago. Pangaea covered over 1/3 of the earths surface. The term began being used in the early 20th century after Alfred Wegener noticed that the Earth's continents looked like they fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. He later developed his theory of continental drift to explain why the continents looked the way they did and first used the term Pangea at a symposium in 1927 focused on that topic.
A tectonic plate (also called lithospheric plate) is a massive, irregularly shaped slab of solid rock, generally composed of both continental and oceanic lithosphere. Plate size can vary greatly, from a few hundred to thousands of kilometers across; the Pacific and Antarctic Plates are among the largest. Plate thickness also varies greatly, ranging from less than 15 km for young oceanic lithosphere to about 200 km or more for ancient continental lithosphere (for example, the interior parts of North and South America).
Where are the plates?
What is Pangea?
What is a tectonic plate??
ammon, Charles. "An Introduction to Plate Tectonics." . charles j. ammon, 31 July 2010. Web. 5 May 2014. <http://eqseis.geosc.psu.edu/~cammon/HTML/Classes/IntroQuakes/Notes/plate_tect01.html>.