• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The continents of the world are all separated by different tectonic plates which when collide is called Tectonic Activity.

Extracts from this document...


The continents of the world are all separated by different tectonic plates which when collide is called Tectonic Activity. There are different forms of tectonic activity and different processes and landforms, which are involved during and as a result of the collisions. As and when these collisions are going to take place we can't determine because current technology hasn't allowed us to dig as far into the earth to the point of pressures which causes the plates to collide. These pressures are believed to be eruptions of liquid magma deep inside the earth. The plate tectonic theory was first proposed in 1915 by a man named Alfred Wegener, who was one of the first to identify that the continents of earth look like they fit together in a jig saw puzzle, but what separates him is the fact he suggested that the earth had separated over a period of time, introducing the future theory of plates. As Wegener had no explanation of why the earth's crust had separated many geologists turned against his ideas, these people were called anti-mobilists. The only evidence that was proved to help Wegener's theory was that palaeontologists had found fossils of similar species on different continents, which suggests that the same species were ...read more.


is causing the crust in the middle of the ocean to pull apart and open up, splitting the land in the middle. One country stands on the middle of these boundaries, Iceland, which will eventually separate and become two islands. This country gives scientists a natural laboratory for studying on land the processes also occurring in the sea. Iceland is splitting down the middle by the North American plate and Eurasian Plate. The diagram below shows how this is happening and how eventually at the rate of 25km over a million years, Iceland will separate. The types of Landforms at Divergent boundaries are Earthquakes and Volcanoes. Earthquakes are more common from the ground splitting; this is easy to see in the northwestern part of Iceland around Krafla Volcano. We can see here that over time the existing cracks in the ground have widened and new ones have been formed, especially in between 1975 and 1984, when numerous episodes of rifting took place. Some of the rifting was accompanied by volcanic activity; the ground would rise 1-2m before dropping and signalling an eruption. At convergent boundaries plates are moving towards each other and collide. ...read more.


Transform boundaries mainly occur on the cean floor and create zig-zag shape ridges form earthquakes. But they also occur on land, one example being the San Andreas fault zone in California. This connects the East Pacific Rise, a divergent boundary to the south with another divergent boundary to the north with South Gorda, Juan De Fuca. The diagram below shows a picture of how this happens. Oceanic fracture zones are ocean floor valleys horizontally offset spreading ridges. Examples of this include Clarion, Molokai, and Pioneer fracture zones in the northeast off the coast of California. These zones are currently inactive but the offset of the pattern of magnetic striping provide evidence of their previous transform-fault activity. The earth has undergone different changes and formation over the 5.6 billion years since its beginning and since Pangaea. Tectonic plates have determine the shape and separation of the earths crust, but we still can't determine when and how these changes will occur, the only thing we do know is that they will. Tectonic plates shows how earth in itself is a process and how the processes within it determine the process of it. Plate boundaries are places of highest activity and formation where such landforms such as the Himalayas and Andes were formed. Processes and Issues in Physical Environments 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hazardous Environments section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hazardous Environments essays

  1. Evaluate the evidence for the Earths structure & plate tectonic theory

    The crust of the earth is not very thick, (refer to figure 1), it is only 5 to 70km thick. Therefore, the knowledge of the crust is far greater & more widely known. As science has improved so has our concept of the Earth, in the late 1960's, people had

  2. Mount St. Helens - Natural disasters.

    US Soil Conservation Service snow samplers found that snow melted faster where covered with a thin layer of ash. USGS hydrologists have not documented any unusual changes in stream levels. April 20 - No explosions occurred, but seismicity reached the highest point in two weeks.

  1. Discuss how a tectonic hazard can be viewed as purely physical processes.

    As can be seen in the picture, the older wooden buildings collapsed easily under the force of the earthquake as they didn't have good foundations and anyone inside would be seriously injured or killed which has accounted for the high death toll.

  2. Write an account of tectonic activity, including landforms, which are associated with it.

    Along the mid Atlantic ridge this is also taking place in Madera and the Canaries. The landforms that are created at constructive plate boundaries include new crust, ridges, ridge volcanoes and earthquakes.

  1. Explain why tectonic processes produce a variety of contrasting landscapes 70 marks

    Plate tectonics can be more complex than where just two plates meet; 90 million years ago the African plate began to subduct beneath the Eurasian plate at the same time as the Arabian plate was moving past them this contrast in relative movement of the three plates formed the island

  2. Tectonic Activity - A general introduction

    ? because it is superheated the whole mass behaves more like a liquid than a solid ? destroy everything in their path. Ash falls ? clouds of ejected ash that then fall to the ground ? can collapse roofs, break branches, cover plant leaves and scratch aircraft windows.

  1. The World Distribution of Population is as important as the world distribution of areas ...

    However, the volcanoes will always stay in situe so the dynamic changes of population density do appear more dominant in terms of volcanic hazards. In using the population trends stated previously there are a great many factors drawing people into areas of seismic activity so population distribution is only going

  2. Compare the physical causes of tectonic hazards at contrasting plate boundaries

    Kobe also suffered a lot of land damage due to soil liquefaction, this is where saturated soil loses its stiffness, usually due to the shaking of an earthquake, which causes it to behave like a liquid due to the increase in pore water pressures, the effects can be extremely damaging

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work