Plate Tectonics WebQuest. By: Jacob Fisher. The History of Pangaea. The word Pangaea , meaning “all lands”, is the word that describes the supercontinent that the world once was. The theory of Pangaea was originated from a man named Alfred Wegener.
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Plate Tectonics WebQuest
By: Jacob Fisher
To the right is an image of Alfred Wegener, the man who invented the theory of our supercontinent, Pangaea. Wegener was a scientist, a meteorologist, and a geophysicist.
A convergent boundary is an area between two or more colliding tectonic plates. Convergent boundaries are subduction zones, which is an area in which one plate is pushed underneath another when they collide. This is what creates mountains. Often when two plates collide and form a convergent boundary, they create frequent, powerful earthquakes. There are many convergent boundaries all over the world that you don’t even notice. For example, the Indian plate is currently crashing into the Eurasian plate, which is forming the Himalayas. India and Eurasia are two separate plates from Pangaea, many billions of years ago.
A divergent boundary is the exact opposite of a convergent boundary. With a convergent boundary, the plates collide to form earthquakes and mountains, which become volcanoes, normally. However, with a divergent boundary, the plates pull apart from each other. This is possibly associated with thermal convection, where forces within the earth acted like a conveyor belt, and upwelling pressure causes the plates to move in opposite directions. Examples of divergent boundaries in the world today would include the mid-Atlantic Ridge. The plates are pulling apart, which causes sea floor spreading (makes the size of the sea grow). Divergent boundaries cause earthquakes, just like convergent boundaries do, but they also cause volcanoes. This is because they open up the crust of the earth, (which is what causes things like geysers, too).
A transform boundary occurs when two plates slide against each other in opposite directions. This forms a fault line, such as the one found in San Andreas, CA. You’ve probably heard of the San Andreas fault in California. If not, you now know that the famous fault line found there overlays a transform boundary. The fault line is the boundary where the plates are sliding against each other, because it is the plates that create that fault line. Transform boundaries can cause many natural disasters, some of which include volcanic activity and earthquakes, which can lead to landslides and avalanches. This is because the force of the plates scraping against each other can be destructive to the world above it.
Mudslide (to left)
The above image is that of the Himalayas; the area between India and the Eurasian plate. It is a convergent boundary because the Indian plate is subducting under the Eurasian plate, causing the Himalayas to be made.
This is an image of the mid-Atlantic Ridge. It is a divergent boundary, and therefore, sea floor spreading is found here.
This is an image of the Queen Charlotte fault and its surrounding region in North America. It is a transform boundary, so it is ever-changing depending on how much the plates shift.
Background: Mariana Trench
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