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Plate Tectonic

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Plate Tectonics The Earth's crust is made up of tectonic plates which are constantly moving. Where each of the plates meets another is called a plate boundary. The movement of the plates is caused by convection currents which are made from the heat rising and falling inside the mantle. This heat comes from the Earth's core. Plates do different things at different plate boundaries. Where two plates move apart is called a constructive boundary, where they move towards each other is a constructive boundary and where they just slide past each other is called conservative. ...read more.


The oceanic crust is young, thin and dense. It is always being destroyed and recreated. The continental crust, however, is old, light and thick. It is permanent and does not sink, unlike the oceanic. Destructive plate margins, those that move together, are usually where oceanic crust meets continental. As oceanic material is slightly denser, it is forced downwards under the continental material. Where this process takes place is called the subduction zone. Constructive plate margins, where the plates are moving apart, act very differently. As the continental regions more apart, new oceanic crust is created to fill the gap. ...read more.


When this pressure is quickly released it travels to the surface of the earth and causes it to shake. This happens at both destructive and constructive plate boundaries because pressure is built up when plates move either together or apart. Similarly, volcanoes occur at both boundaries. They form when molten rock from under the earth's crust is surfaced. This is usually because the plates moving have created a gap or crack for material to be pushed through. At a destructive plate margin, when the plates are pushed together yet one doesn't subduct, material is pushed upwards, this is how the Fold Mountains are formed. The Andes are an example of Fold Mountains formed at a destructive plate margin. ...read more.

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