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Plate Tectonics. Liz LaRosa for use with my 5 th Grade Science Class 2009 . Earth’s Layers. The Earth's rocky outer crust solidified billions of years ago, soon after the Earth formed.

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plate tectonics

Plate Tectonics

Liz LaRosa for use with my 5th Grade Science Class 2009

earth s layers
Earth’s Layers

The Earth's rocky outer crust solidified billions of years ago, soon after the Earth formed.

This crust is not a solid shell; it is broken up into huge, thick plates that drift atop the soft, underlying mantle.

the crust
The Crust
  • Outermost layer
  • 5 – 100 km thick
  • Made of Oxygen, Silicon, Aluminum
the mantle
The Mantle
  • Layer of Earth between the crust and the core
  • Contains most of the Earth’s mass
  • Has more magnesium and less aluminum and silicon than the crust
  • Is denser than the crust
the core
The Core
  • Below the mantle and to the center of the Earth
  • Believed to be mostly Iron, smaller amounts of Nickel, almost no Oxygen, Silicon, Aluminum, or Magnesium
plate tectonics1
Plate Tectonics
  • Greek – “tektonikos” of a builder
  • 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
continental drift
Continental Drift

Alfred Wegener 1900’s

Continents were once a single land mass that drifted apart.

Fossils of the same plants and animals are found on different continents

Called this supercontinent Pangea, Greek for “all Earth”

245 Million years ago

Split again – Laurasia & Gondwana 180 million years ago

sea floor spreading1
Sea Floor Spreading
  • Mid Ocean Ridges – underwater mountain chains that run through the Earth’s Basins
  • Magma rises to the surface and solidifies and new crust forms
  • Older Crust is pushed

farther away from the ridge

how plates move
How Plates Move

different types of boundaries
Different Types of Boundaries

divergent boundary arabian and african plates
Divergent Boundary – Arabian and African Plates

Arabian Plate

Red Sea

African Plate

divergent boundary iceland
Divergent Boundary – Iceland

divergent boundary oceanic
Divergent Boundary - Oceanic

divergent boundary continental
Divergent Boundary - Continental

convergent boundary oceanic continental
Convergent Boundary – Oceanic & Continental &

convergent boundary oceanic oceanic
Convergent Boundary – Oceanic & Oceanic

Note – plates are reversed &

convergent boundaries continental
Convergent Boundaries - Continental &

  • Name the 3 main layers of the Earth
  • What is a tectonic plate?
  • What was Pangea?
  • What is Sea-Floor spreading?
  • Name the three different types of plate boundaries and one location on Earth for each one