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Plate Tectonics. By: Sierra Boyle. Intended for eighth grade. Historical Background. Super-Continent Pangea Theory proposed by Alfred Wegner in 1912 Evidence: fitting of continents distribution of fossils similar rock sequences ancient climates Splitting of Pangea.

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plate tectonics

Plate Tectonics

By: Sierra Boyle

Intended for eighth grade

historical background
Historical Background
  • Super-Continent Pangea
    • Theory proposed by Alfred Wegner in 1912
    • Evidence:
    • fitting of continents
    • distribution of fossils
    • similar rock sequences
    • ancient climates
    • Splitting of Pangea
understanding make up of earth
Understanding:Make-up of Earth
  • The Earth is divided into three chemical layers: the core, the mantle and the crust.
  • The outermost layers of the Earth can be divided by their physical properties into lithosphere and asthenosphere.
    • Lithosphere-rigid outermost layer made of crust and uppermost mantle. The lithosphere is the "plate" of the plate tectonic theory.
    • Asthenosphere-mantle that flows, a characteristic called plastic behavior. Part of mantle convection, which plays an important role in moving lithospheric plates.
how continents drift apart sea floor spreading
How Continents Drift Apart:Sea Floor Spreading
  • New sea floor is produced at the rifts of mid-oceans ridges. The ocean floor, and the rock beneath it, are produced by magma that rises from deeper levels filling the gap to form new oceanic crust. This creates continental drift.
  • Old sea floor is carried away from the ridge. The lithosphere arrives at the edge of a continent, where it is subducted or sinks into the asthenosphere.
  • The dip accounts for earthquakes, and magma generated along the top of the sinking slab rises to the surface to form stratovolcanoes.
  • Further Understanding of Concepts
distribution of plates
Distribution of Plates

Can you find the connection between these two pictures?

  • The term plate was coined for the broken pieces of the Earth's lithosphere .
  • Earth's surface consists of 12 rigid plates that move relative to each other.
  • Where plates interact, along their margins, important geological processes take place, such as the formation of mountain belts, seafloor spreading, earthquakes, and volcanoes.
plate movement
Plate Movement

Plates move in different ways dependant upon location and relative motion

Explanation of Plate Movement

plates relation to volcanic activity
Plates Relation to Volcanic Activity

Mount St. Helens

  • Most of the world's active above-sea volcanoes are located near convergent plate boundaries where subduction is occurring.
  • Convergent boundary volcanoes are called stratovolcanoes. They typically erupt with explosive force, because the magma is too stiff to allow easy escape of volcanic gases.

Before Eruption

After Eruption

plates relation to earthquake activity
Plates Relation to Earthquake Activity
  • An earthquake is the shaking of the ground caused by an abrupt shift of rock along a fracture in the Earth, called a fault.
  • A fault is generally located along a transform plate
  • An earthquake releases stress that has slowly accumulated within the rock.

Effects of Earthquakes