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Essential Questions How does the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates result in many geologic features? What are the three types of plate boundaries and the features associated with each? What are the processes associated with subduction zones? Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Plate Boundaries
Review mid-ocean ridge New tectonic plate divergent boundary rift valley convergent boundary subduction transform boundary Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Vocabulary Plate Boundaries
Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Tectonic plates are huge pieces of crust and rigid upper mantle that fit together at their edges to cover Earth’s surface.
Plate Boundaries Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Theory of Plate Tectonics Plate tectonics is the theory that describes how tectonic plates move and shape Earth’s surface. They move in different directions and at different rates relative to one another, and they interact with one another at their boundaries.
Plate Boundaries Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Divergent boundaries Regions where two tectonic plates are moving apart are called divergent boundaries. Most divergent boundaries are found along the seafloor in rift valleys. The formation of new ocean crust at most divergent boundaries accounts for the high heat flow, volcanism, and earthquakes associated with these boundaries.
Plate Boundaries Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Divergent boundaries Some divergent boundaries form on continents. When continental crust begins to separate, the stretched crust forms a long, narrow depression called a rift valley.
Plate Boundaries Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Convergent boundaries At convergent boundaries, two tectonic plates are moving toward each other. When two plates collide, the denser plate eventually descends below the other, less-dense plate in a process called subduction.
Plate Boundaries Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Convergent boundaries There are three types of convergent boundaries, classified according to the type of crust involved: oceanic-oceanic; oceanic-continental; and continental- continental The differences in density of the crustal material affect how they converge.
Plate Boundaries Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Convergent boundaries In the oceanic-oceanic convergent boundary, a subduction zone is formed when one oceanic plate, which is denser as a result of cooling, descends below another oceanic plate. The process of subduction creates an ocean trench.
Plate Boundaries Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Convergent boundaries In an oceanic-oceanic convergent boundary, water carried into Earth by the subducting plate lowers the melting temperature of the overlying mantle, causing it to melt. The molten material is less dense so it rises back to the surface, where it often erupts and forms an arc of volcanic islands that parallel the trench.
Plate Boundaries Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Convergent boundaries When an oceanic plate converges with a continental plate, the denser oceanic plate is subducted. Oceanic- continental convergence produces a trench and volcanic arc. The result is a mountain range with many volcanoes.
Plate Boundaries Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Convergent boundaries Continental-continental boundaries form when two continental plates collide, long after an oceanic plate has converged with a continental plate. This forms a vast mountain range, such as the Himalayas.
Plate Boundaries Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Transform boundaries A region where two plates slide horizontally past each other is a transform boundary.
Plate Boundaries Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Transform boundaries Transform boundaries are characterized by long faults, sometimes hundreds of kilometers in length, and by shallow earthquakes. Most transform boundaries offset sections of ocean ridges. Sometimes transform boundaries occur on continents.
Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Review Essential Questions How does the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates result in many geologic features? What are the three types of plate boundaries and the features associated with each? What are the processes associated with subduction zones? Vocabulary tectonic plate divergent boundary rift valley convergent boundary subduction transform boundary Plate Boundaries
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