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Presentation on theme: "Pangaea."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pangaea

2 Colliding Plates Objectives Key Terms
Explain how plate tectonics accounts for the movement of continents Compare and contrast divergent, convergent and transform plate boundaries. Explain how convection currents inside Earth might be the cause of plate tectonics Key Terms plate tectonics, lithosphere, divergent boundary Convergent boundary, transform fault boundary

3 Plate Tectonics Tectonic plates
Think of the hypotheses of continental drift and sea-floor spreading as clues to a mystery. How can the two hypotheses be explained? In the 1960’s, geologists developed a new theory to explain the apparent movement of the continents. The theory of plate tectonics suggests that Earth’s crust and upper mantle are broken into sections called plates (that move). But, what are they made of and how do they move??


5 We already know that the Earth’s crust is a layer of solid rock.
The uppermost portion of the mantle is also solid Together, these two areas are known as the lithosphere

6 We also know that there is an area in the mantle that is less solid
We also know that there is an area in the mantle that is less solid. Here, the material acts more like a putty; it’s a solid that can flow. This putty-like layer is called the asthenosphere

7 Plates Divergent Boundaries
The boundary between two tectonic plates that are moving away from each other Magma is forced upward between the two plates, creating a new crust, thus making…. Mid-ocean ridges are divergent boundaries

8 Divergent Boundary

9 Learning Check The theory that suggests that Earth’s crust and upper mantle are broken into sections called plates (that move) is known as… plate tectonics Together, the Earth’s crust is a layer of solid rock and the uppermost portion of the mantle is also solid are known as Lithosphere The boundary between two tectonic plates that are moving away from each other is known as… Divergent boundary

10 Convergent Boundaries
Crustal material can be destroyed where 2 plates meet head on. This type of boundary is called a convergent boundary What do you think happens when two plates containing continental crust collide? The two plates crumple forming mountain ranges! The Himalaya Mountains formed when the Indian Plate collided with the southern part of the Eurasia plate.

11 Himalayas Example: India used to be an island, but about 15 million years ago it crashed into Asia (see map). As continental crust was pushing against continental crust the Himalayan mountain belt was pushed up. “Mountains” were also pushed down into the mantle as the normally 35 km thick crust is approximately 70 km thick in this region. Mt Everest is the highest altitude mountain on our planet standing 8,840 metres high. This means that below the surface at the foot of the mountain the crust is a further 61 km deep!!

12 Convergent Boundaries
There are three styles of convergent plate boundaries Continent-continent collision Continent-oceanic crust collision Ocean-ocean collision Convergent boundaries are where the plates move towards each other. There are three types of convergent boundary, each defined by what type of crust (continental or oceanic) is coming together. Therefore we can have: continent-continent collision, continent-oceanic crust collision or ocean-ocean collision….

13 Convergent Boundary

14 Manned or unmanned submersible vehicles (top right photo) have explored small parts of trenches discovering new species (like the fish photographed here) and amazing ecosystems.

15 Transform Fault Boundaries
A third type of boundary that is formed when two plates slide past one another in opposite directions. Think about the San Andreas Fault in California – This is where the North America and the Pacific plate slide past one another! Along this boundary, the Pacific plate moves NW relative to the North American plate at an average rate of 2 cm per year.

16 Transform Fault Boundary

17 Transform Fault Bound. Cause Earthquakes!

18 Causes of Plate Tectonics
How does the theory of plate tectonics explain the cause of plate movements? The driving force behind this movement is HEAT! A material that is hot is less dense than the same material that is cold This is because the same mass takes up more volume (space) when the material is heated. This helps us explain the process of convection currents…

19 Convection Currents in the Earth

20 Convection Currents C.C.’s within the Mantle cause the various plates in Earth’s lithosphere to move around. As the plates bump into each other, boundaries form! Plates move in different directions because there are many conv. cells within the Mantle!

21 Learning Check! A type of boundary that is formed when two plates slide past one another in opposite directions is known as Transform Fault Boundary Boundary where crustal material can be destroyed where 2 plates meet head on is Convergent Boundary Mountain Ranges Convergent Earthquakes Transform Fault


23 Convergent Boundaries

24 Continent-Continent Collision
Forms mountains, e.g. European Alps, Himalayas When continental crust pushes against continental crust both sides of the convergent boundary have the same properties (think back to the description of continental crust: thick and buoyant). Neither side of the boundary wants to sink beneath the other side, and as a result the two plates push against each other and the crust buckles and cracks, pushing up (and down into the mantle) high mountain ranges. For example, the European Alps and Himalayas formed this way.

25 Continent-Oceanic Crust Collision
Called SUBDUCTION At a convergent boundary where continental crust pushes against oceanic crust, the oceanic crust which is thinner and more dense than the continental crust, sinks below the continental crust. This is called a Subduction Zone. The oceanic crust descends into the mantle at a rate of centimetres per year. This oceanic crust is called the “Subducting Slab” (see diagram). When the subducting slab reaches a depth of around 100 kilometres, it dehydrates and releases water into the overlying mantle wedge (Presenter: explain all of this using the diagram). The addition of water into the mantle wedge changes the melting point of the molten material there forming new melt which rises up into the overlying continental crust forming volcanoes. Subduction is a way of recycling the oceanic crust. Eventually the subducting slab sinks down into the mantle to be recycled. It is for this reason that the oceanic crust is much younger than the continental crust which is not recycled.

26 Subduction Oceanic lithosphere subducts underneath the continental lithosphere Oceanic lithosphere heats and dehydrates as it subsides The melt rises forming volcanism E.g. The Andes The Andes mountain range along the western edge of the South American continent is an example of a mountain belt formed by subduction. The continental crust of the South American plate has buckled under the compressional strain of converging with the Nasca and Antarctic plates. Additionally there are many volcanoes, the result of melting of the subducting slab and the production of new material that has risen through the crust to the surface.

27 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! When two oceanic plates converge, because they are dense, one runs over the top of the other causing it to sink into the mantle and a subduction zone is formed. The subducting plate is bent down into the mantle to form a deep depression in the seafloor called a trench. Trenches are the deepest parts of the ocean and remain largely unexplored.

28 Convergent Boundary

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