anonymous
  • anonymous
what is the theory on plate tectonics?
Biology
  • Stacey Warren - Expert brainly.com
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jamiebookeater
  • jamiebookeater
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anonymous
  • anonymous
Plate tectonics is the science and study of the causes of, and relative motions of, Earth's lithospheric plates. The lithospheric plates are composed of the rocky crust and outermost rocky layer of the mantle which are fused together. The entire outer surface of the planet is divided into these plate formations, roughly 30 in total, which vary in size from over 100,000,000 square miles (Pacific Plate) to the Galapagos microplate at 12,000 square miles. The individual plates are separated by fault lines which extend from the surface all the way to the asthenosphere, at which point the fault disappears due to the plasticity of the rock that exists there. The plates are constantly in relative motion to each other, but this motion is extremely slow due to the incredible amount of mass being moved, friction, and the high viscosity of the asthenosphere. The boundaries between plates can be convergent (where they are colliding from opposite directions), divergent (where they are moving away from each other), or transform (where they are grinding past each other). Due to differences in density between oceanic and continental lithospheres, collisions will either result in subduction, where the denser plate dives beneath the less dense plate, and becomes part of the asthenosphere, or in mountain building, where neither plate subducts but is thrust upward. This happens in continental to continental lithospheric plate collision. At divergent plate boundaries, the lithosphere is hot and thin and the fault between plates acts as a conduit for heated and molten rock to reach the surface where it forms into new crust. The bulk of divergent boundaries are under the oceans, forming the mid-ocean ridge system, the world's longest continuous mountain range. At transform boundaries, the plates grind past each other (ex: San Andreas Fault), and can result in earthquakes as the grinding rocks suddenly snap into new positions. Plate movements occur because the layer of Earth directly below the lithosphere, the asthenosphere, is hot enough, and under enough lithostatic pressure to prevent its melting, that it can deform without fracture. And although convection of heat does play a role in the movement of lithospheric plates, the convection currents themselves may be caused by gravity, which induces the sinking of older dense slabs of oceanic crust at subduction zones (also called slab pull). Plate tectonics is responsible for most of Earth's geologic features. As plates collide, the crust crumples and mountain ranges form. The shape and position of the oceans and continents is also the result of plate movement. Of course, these processes are extremely slow and take millions of years to produce noticeable or significant change. At one point about 200 million years ago, all seven continents were joined as one landmass known as Pangea. This supercontinent began to rift and break apart through plate tectonics, which explains why the continents (especially Africa and South America) seem to fit together like a puzzle. The energy driving plate tectonics is heat from the interior of the Earth derived from radioactive decay and residual heat from Earth's formation, and gravity which results in slab pull and push.
anonymous
  • anonymous
lol its so long
anonymous
  • anonymous
wooowwwww!!!! that amazing

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anonymous
  • anonymous
did you do it yourself or google!!!
anonymous
  • anonymous
i did this before.
anonymous
  • anonymous
well thanks
anonymous
  • anonymous
your welcome c:

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