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Plate Tectonics and Volcanoes

Plate Tectonics and Volcanoes

Author: Nate Holz

This lesson looks at plate tectonics and volcanoes; chapters 9 & 10 in our text book.

After this unit you should know features of the ocean floor that provide evidence of plate tectonics, you will learn the main structures that form a the three different kinds of plate boundaries, and you will understand why volcanoes form in areas of subduction.

We will cover the three main types of volcanoes and how they differ according to the types of eruptions they are capable of producing. We will also look at the different kinds of lava produced by composite and shield volcanoes, as well as why volcanoes are located in subduction zones.

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Unit 6.2 Assignments (Plate Tectonics to Volcanoes)

Plate Tectonics - Part 1; Continental Drift

This web cast looks at Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift, which led to the current theory of plate tectonics

What you Need to Know...

  • Be able to explain the hypothesis of continental drift
  • Be able to list and describe the evidence for this hypothesis
  • What was the main objections to Wegener's hypothesis?
  • What is Pangaea and how is it related to continental drift?

Continental Drift: 3.3 Billion Years

3.3 Bill years in 4 minutes

Source: Standard Youtube License

Earth 100 Million Years From Now...

Earth's landmasses were not always what they are today. Continents formed as Earth's crustal plates shifted and collided over long periods of time. This video shows how today's continents are thought to have evolved over the last 600 million years, and where they'll end up in the next 100 million years.

Source: SpaceRip

Continents Adrift: An Intro to Continental Drift & Plate Tectonics

Source: Standard Youtube License

The Sid Shuffle - Ice Age: Continental Drift

Source: Official ICE AGE - CONTINENTAL DRIFT Channel

Part 2 - Plate Tectonics (What You Need to Know)

For all of plate tectonics you need to know the following:

  • What is the hypothesis of continental drift
  • Be able to list the evidence that supports the hypothesis
  • What is Pangaea?
  • What is a lithospheric plate?
  • List all the plate boundaries
  • What is sea floor spreading?
  • What is a subduction zone and what plate boundaries would you expect to find it?
  • What happens at other types of convergent boundaries?
  • Be able to list the evidence for sea floor spreading and plate tectonics
  • What is paleomagnetism?
  • What is a hot spot, give an example of a hot spot location

Part 2: Plate Tectonics

My video cast on Plate Tectonics

Source: Bob Grove

Part 2 - Plate Tectonics (Powerpoint version of my video cast

A look at the theory of plate tectonics

Plate Tectonics Explained

Source: Minute Earth

Plate Tectonics

Source: Bozeman Science

National Geographic Colliding Continents

Source: Standard Youtube License

Part 3 - Sea Floor Spreading

This lecture looks at the divergent boundary known as a spreading center. This boundary can form new sea floor and spread continents apart. Evidence that supports sea floor spreading is also presented.

Source: Bob Grove

Sea Floor Spreading Animation

a 26 second animation of a divergent boundary created by a spreading center

Source: Standard Youtube License

Sea Floor Spreading with Bill Nye

Source: Standard Youtube License

Sea Floor Spreading Activity

A video showing how the activity works...

Source: Jessica Henze

Mt. St. Helens Eruption

The most important photographs turned video of Mt. St. Helen's explosion was taken by an amateur photographer, and helped geologists determine the strength and power of the explosion (From Discovery Channel's "Raging Nature")

Source: Standard Youtube License

Movie: San Andreas

After watching the movie, San Andreas, go to the following web sites (click the links below) and, point by point, explain if what you saw could happen or what is scientifically wrong with that part of the plot.

What's Scientifically Wrong with the movie San Andreas?

Could San Andreas Actually Happen?