Guiding Questions

‍I understand the structure of the earth, the rock cycle and plate tectonics.

‍‍‍‍‍1. (6.10c) ‍‍(I can identify the major tectonic plates, including Eurasian, African, Indo-Australian, Pacific, North American and South American.)

‍‍‍‍‍2. (6.10d) ‍‍(I can describe how plate tectonics causes major geological events such as ocean basins, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building.)



Plate Tectonics - Huge pieces of lithosphere that slowly move on the asthenosphere, and consist of the crust and the rigid, uppermost part of the mantle.

Faults - a break in the continuity of a body of rock or of a vein, with dislocation along the plane of the fracture

Pangaea - landmass that existed when allcontinents were joined, from about 300 to 200million years ago.

Mountain building - Major geological event that occurs when continental plates of equal density converge

Sea Floor Spreading - Movement of plates create dense oceanic crust that sinks lower in the asthenosphere than the less dense continental crust, resulting in depressions on Earth’s surface that fill with water (OCEAN BASIN)

Ring of Fire -the linear zone of seismic and volcanic activity that coincides in general with the margins of the Pacific Plate.

Plate Tectonic Theory - the theory that Earth's outer shell is divided into several plates that glide over the mantle.

Earthquake - Major geological events that occur when plates shift suddenly and release stored energy; a frequent occurrence at transform boundaries

Volcano - Major geological events that occur when a dense plate subducts below a less dense plate as they converge

plasticity - the quality of being able to be made into different shapes

Plate Boundaries - The place where two different plates have contact.

Convergent Boundary - The place where two different plates move toward each other and collide.

Divergent Boundary - The place where two different plates move away from each other creating trenches and rift valleys.

Transform Boundary - The place where two different plates slide past each other causing earthquakes.

Subduction Zone - The place where two different plates move toward each other and more dense crust is forced below, or subducted under a less dense crust. This happens at Convergent Boundaries between Oceanic and Continental Crust.


World's Deadliest Volcanoes
Iceland's Volcanoes


Interactive Plate Tectonics

A Science Odyssey

Active Volcanoes and Plate Tectonics

Major Tectonic Plates

Simulation of Plate Tectonics

Plate Tectonics Map

Ocean-Ocean Convergent Boundary

Ocean-Continent Convergent Boundary

Continent - Continent Collision

Model of Mantle Convection

Evolution of a Divergent Plate Boundary



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Extended Reading:

Earth materials animation, videos, and other resources




Continents Adrift Video & Quiz