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Plate Tectonics.

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Presentation on theme: "Plate Tectonics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Plate Tectonics

2 Continental Drift Wegener’s Continental Drift Hypothesis stated that the continents had once been joined to form a single supercontinent (Pangaea). Wegener proposed that Pangaea began to break apart 200 million years ago and formed the present landmasses.

3 Continental Drift

4 Evidence Continental Drift The Continental “Puzzle” Matching Fossils
Rock Types and Structures Ancient Climates

5 Matching Mountain Ranges

6 Glacier Evidence

7 Continental Drift Wegener could not provide an explanation of what made the continents move. New technology led to findings which then led to a new theory called plate tectonics

8 Plate Tectonics According to the plate tectonics theory, the uppermost mantle, along with the crust, behaves as a strong, rigid layer (lithosphere) A plate is one of numerous rigid sections of the lithosphere that move as a unit over the asthenosphere


10 Plate Boundaries Divergent boundaries (spreading centers) are the place where two plates move apart Convergent boundaries form where two plates move together Transform fault boundaries are margins where two plates grind past each other without the production or destruction of the lithosphere

11 Plate Boundaries

12 Divergent Boundaries Oceanic ridges are continuous elevated zones on the floor of all major ocean basins. Rift valleys are deep faulted structures found along the axes of divergent plate boundaries. They can develop on the seafloor or on land Seafloor spreading produces new oceanic lithosphere

13 Divergent Boundaries


15 Continental Rifts

16 Convergent Boundaries
A subduction zone occurs when one oceanic plate is forced down into the mantle beneath a second plate Oceanic-Continental: Denser oceanic slab sinks into the asthenosphere; Pockets of magma develop and rise Continental volcanic arcs form; Andes, Cascades

17 Convergent Boundaries

18 Convergent Boundaries
Oceanic-Oceanic Two oceanic slabs converge and one descends beneath the other Volcanic island arcs form as volcanoes emerge from the sea Examples include the Aleutian, Mariana, and Tonga islands

19 Convergent Boundaries

20 Convergent Boundaries
Continental-Continental When both subducting plates contain continental material This kind of boundary can produce new mountain ranges, such as the Himalayas

21 Convergent Boundaries

22 Transform Fault Boundaries
Plates grind past each other without destroying the lithosphere Most join two segments of a mid-ocean ridge At the time of formation, they roughly parallel the direction of plate movement They aid the movement of oceanic crustal material

23 Transform Fault Boundaries

24 Evidence for Plate Tectonics
Paleomagnetism is the natural remnant magnetism in rock bodies; is permanent This can be used to determine the location of the magnetic poles at the time the rock became magnetized Normal polarity — rocks show the same magnetism as the present magnetic field

25 Evidence for Plate Tectonics
Reverse polarity — rocks show the opposite magnetism as the present magnetic field The discovery of strips of alternating polarity across the ocean ridges, is among the strongest evidence of seafloor spreading

26 Evidence for Plate Tectonics

27 Evidence for Plate Tectonics
Hot Spots A hot spot is a concentration of heat in the mantle capable of producing magma, which rises to Earth’s surface; Hot spots occur in the middle of a plate The Pacific plate moves over a hot spot, producing the Hawaiian Islands Hot spot evidence supports that the plates move

28 Evidence for Plate Tectonics

29 The Force Behind Tectonics
Convection: The Force Behind Tectonics

30 Earth's Tectonic Future

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