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Chapter 10. Plate Tectonics. 1. Continental Drift. the hypothesis that states that the continents once formed a single landmass , broke up, and drifted to their present locations. 2. Mid-ocean ridge. a long, undersea mountain chain that has a steep, narrow valley at its

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chapter 10

Chapter 10

Plate Tectonics

1 continental drift
1. Continental Drift

the hypothesis that states that the

continents once formed a single

landmass, broke up, and drifted to

their present locations.

2 mid ocean ridge
2. Mid-ocean ridge
  • a long, undersea mountain chain that
  • has a steep, narrow valley at its
  • center, that forms as magma rises
  • from the asthenosphere, and that
  • creates new oceanic lithosphere
  • (sea floor) as tectonic plates move
  • Apart.
3 sea floor spreading
3. Sea-floor spreading

the process by which new oceanic

lithosphere (sea floor) forms as

magma rises to Earth’s surface

and solidifies at a mid-ocean ridge.

4 paleomagnetism
4. Paleomagnetism
  • the study of the alignment of
  • magnetic minerals in rock,
  • specifically as it relates to the
  • reversal of Earth’s magnetic poles.
5 plate tectonics
5. Plate tectonics
  • the theory that explains how
  • large pieces of the lithosphere,
  • called plates, move and change
  • shape.
6 lithosphere
6. Lithosphere

the solid, outer layer of Earth that

consists of the crust and the rigid

upper part of the mantle.

7 asthenosphere
7. Asthenosphere
  • the solid, plastic layer of the
  • mantle beneath the lithosphere;
  • made of mantle rock that flows
  • very slowly, which allows tectonic
  • plates to move on top of it.
8 divergent boundary
8. Divergent boundary

the boundary between tectonic

plates that are moving away

from each other.

9 convergent boundary
9. Convergent boundary

the boundary between tectonic

plates that are colliding.

10 transform boundary
10. Transform boundary

the boundary between tectonic

plates that are sliding past each

other horizontally.

11 rifting
11. Rifting
  • the process by which Earth’s
  • crust breaks apart; can occur
  • within continental crust or
  • oceanic crust.
12 terrane
12. Terrane

a piece of lithosphere that has a

unique geologic history and that

may be part of a larger piece of

lithosphere, such as continent.

13 supercontinent cycle
13. Supercontinent cycle

the process by which

supercontinents form and break

apart over millions of years.

14 pangaea
14. Pangaea

the supercontinent that formed

300 million years ago and that

began to break up beginning

250 million years ago.

15 panthalassa
15. Panthalassa
  • the single, large ocean that
  • covered Earth’s surface during
  • the time the supercontinent
  • Pangaea existed.