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Plate Tectonics. Earth Structure Quick review. Earth is made up of four main layers; crust, mantle, outer core and inner core. Crust- on the outside, very thin and hard. Mantle- The largest part making up 2/3 of the earth.

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Plate Tectonics

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earth structure quick review
Earth Structure Quick review
  • Earth is made up of four main layers; crust, mantle, outer core and inner core.
  • Crust- on the outside, very thin and hard.
  • Mantle- The largest part making up 2/3 of the earth.
  • Outer Core- Lies above the inner core and is thought to be composed of mostly molten metal. Liquid.
  • Inner Core- Hottest place on Earth. Solid iron. Thought to create magnetic field.
the crust
The Crust
  • What make up the earth’s crust?
  • What is the lithosphere?
  • Crust consists of many continental and oceanic plates that have slowly moved and changed positions on the globe throughout geologic time.
  • The rigid upper part of Earth’s mantle and crust. The location of our plates.
plate tectonics1
Plate Tectonics
  • What are plates?
  • What is plate tectonics?
  • The Earth is broken up into pieces of land which move slightly around the Earth.
  • Very slow- movement can take more than a year to move a few centimeters.
  • Pieces of the lithosphere that move around.
  • Each plate has a name
  • Fit together like jigsaw puzzles
  • Float on top of mantle similar to ice cubes in a bowl of water
alfred wegener
Alfred Wegener
  • He proposed that in the distant past, the Earth’s continents were all joined as a single landmass.
  • After putting all of Earth’s puzzle pieces together he named the land mass Pangaea.
plate tectonics2
Plate tectonics
  • Plate Boundaries-
  • Fault-
  • The places where the edges of different plates meet
  • Plates-
  • Slide
  • Separate
  • Collide
  • Large fractures in rocks along which movement occurs.
how do plates move
How do Plates move?
  • Plate Movement
  • Sliding
  • Separating
  • Colliding
  • Plates slide along each other, earth quakes commonly occur from the built up pressure.
  • When plates move apart, new crust forms to fill the gap between plates.
  • Tremendous force causing large mountains to form.



Three types of plate boundary

divergent boundaries
Divergent Boundaries
  • Spreading ridges
    • *As plates move apart new material is erupted to fill the gap

Iceland: An example of continental rifting

  • Iceland has a divergent plate boundary running through its middle

Convergent Boundaries

  • There are three styles of convergent plate boundaries
    • Continent-continent collision
    • Continent-oceanic crust collision
    • Ocean-ocean collision

Continent-Continent Collision

  • Forms mountains,e.g. European Alps, Himalayas


  • Oceanic lithosphere subducts underneath the continental lithosphere
  • Oceanic lithosphere heats and dehydrates as it subsides
  • The melt rises forming volcanism
  • E.g. The Andes

Ocean-Ocean Plate Collision

  • When two oceanic plates collide, one runs over the other which causes it to sink into the mantle forming a subduction zone.
  • The subducting plate is bent downward to form a very deep depression in the ocean floor called a trench.
  • The worlds deepest parts of the ocean are found along trenches.
    • E.g. The Mariana Trench is 11 km deep!

Transform Boundaries

  • Where plates slide past each other

Above: View of the San Andreas transform fault