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Discuss the characteristic features produced at plate margins and explain the processes which give rise to them.

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Introduction

Discuss the characteristic features produced at plate margins and explain the processes which give rise to them. The earth is made up of plates that float on the surface of magma underneath the earth's surface. This hot magma creates convection currents due to extreme heat and these convection currents are thought to move the plates on the earth around creating different kinds of plate margins. There are three different plate margins that form major landforms, destructive and constructive. Destructive plate margins are when two different plates collide together, and constructive plate margins are when two plates move apart from each other. Conservative plate margins are when two plates move parallel to each other. Where two plates diverge and new crust is created at the boundary a process of sea floor spreading takes place, plates are pulled apart due to the convection currents of the magma in the mantle. ...read more.

Middle

When two oceanic plates collide Island arcs, volcanoes and oceanic trenches are formed. When two continental crusts collide volcanoes, Fold Mountains are formed, and when oceanic and continental crusts collide volcanoes, oceanic trenches and Fold Mountains are once again formed. When oceanic and continental crusts collide the less dense continental crust forces the denser oceanic crust downwards. As this occurs the two plates rubbing past each other cause friction, this friction radiates heat that helps melt the rock. This zone is called a subduction zone. At the point of collision where the oceanic crust has been forced down, a trench appears between the two plates and this is called an oceanic trench or deep-sea trench. Oceanic - Continental Plate margin Also as the new rock is melted due to heat, the less dense molten rock formed from the subduction zone begins to rise to the earths surface, where the magma does reach the earths surface volcanoes will occur. ...read more.

Conclusion

Himalayas) Orogenesis (Mountain Building) Continental - Continental At a conservative plate margin the landforms produced are not clearly visible, the margin between the plates is said to be conservative as no crustal rock is being made or destroyed. The landform that marks out a conservative plate margin is a pronounced transform fault; these faults are created when magma from the mantle cools and lateral movement of the plate occurs creating large perpendicular faults to the boundary. The most notorious transform fault is the San Andreas Fault in California. A Transform Fault As shown there are several large landforms in the world all caused by the action of plates colliding, diverging or sliding past each other. Each one is caused by simple convection currents in the earth's mantle, these reactions of the different plate margins and their actions have shaped the world today and they are set to continue for a long time. ...read more.

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