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Geology: Plate Tectonics

Geology: Plate Tectonics

Author: Nathan Lampson

This lesson introduces the plate tectonics of the world and discusses their effects on the earth.

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The Earth's crust is divided into plates that move against each other.  The motion of sections of the Earth's crust is called Plate Tectonics.  Plate tectonics can cause earthquakes and volcanoes. 

Image: The boundaries of the tectonic plates.

Types of boundaries between plates:

Convergent Boundaries

Areas where tectonic plates collide.  One plate lowers underneath the other plate in a process called subduction.


Divergent Boundaries

Areas where tectonic plates move away from each other.  Divergent boundaries between tectonic plates form trenches 


Transform Boundaries

Areas where tectonic plates slide against one another.  Energy built up from tension in transform boundaries can cause earthquakes.