Plate tectonics

tectonic platesplate tectonictectonictectonic plateplate boundarycontinental plateplatescontinental platesplate boundariestectonic movement
Plate tectonics (from the Late Latin tectonicus, from the τεκτονικός "pertaining to building") is a scientific theory describing the large-scale motion of seven large plates and the movements of a larger number of smaller plates of the Earth's lithosphere, since tectonic processes began on Earth between 3.3 and 3.5 billion years ago.wikipedia
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Earth

Earth's surfaceterrestrialworld
Plate tectonics (from the Late Latin tectonicus, from the τεκτονικός "pertaining to building") is a scientific theory describing the large-scale motion of seven large plates and the movements of a larger number of smaller plates of the Earth's lithosphere, since tectonic processes began on Earth between 3.3 and 3.5 billion years ago.
Earth's lithosphere is divided into several rigid tectonic plates that migrate across the surface over many millions of years.

List of tectonic plates

tectonic plateMinorplate
The lithosphere, which is the rigid outermost shell of a planet (the crust and upper mantle), is broken into tectonic plates.
Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust and uppermost mantle, together referred to as the lithosphere.

Continental drift

drifteddriftingcontinental drift theory
The model builds on the concept of continental drift, an idea developed during the first decades of the 20th century.
The idea of continental drift has since been subsumed by the theory of plate tectonics, which explains that the continents move by riding on plates of the Earth's lithosphere.

Divergent boundary

divergentdivergent boundariesdivergent plate boundaries
Where the plates meet, their relative motion determines the type of boundary: convergent, divergent, or transform.
In plate tectonics, a divergent boundary or divergent plate boundary (also known as a constructive boundary or an extensional boundary) is a linear feature that exists between two tectonic plates that are moving away from each other.

Convergent boundary

convergent plate boundaryconvergenceconvergent boundaries
Where the plates meet, their relative motion determines the type of boundary: convergent, divergent, or transform.
A convergent boundary is an area on Earth where two or more lithospheric plates collide.

Volcano

volcanicvolcanoesvolcanic igneous activity
Earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain-building, and oceanic trench formation occur along these plate boundaries (or faults).
Earth's volcanoes occur because its crust is broken into 17 major, rigid tectonic plates that float on a hotter, softer layer in its mantle.

Fault (geology)

faultfaultsstrike-slip
Earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain-building, and oceanic trench formation occur along these plate boundaries (or faults).
Large faults within the Earth's crust result from the action of plate tectonic forces, with the largest forming the boundaries between the plates, such as subduction zones or transform faults.

Subduction

subduction zonesubductedsubducting
Along convergent boundaries, subduction, or one plate moving under another, carries the lower one down into the mantle; the material lost is roughly balanced by the formation of new (oceanic) crust along divergent margins by seafloor spreading.
Subduction is a geological process that takes place at convergent boundaries of tectonic plates where one plate moves under another and is forced to sink due to high gravitational potential energy into the mantle.

Lithosphere

continental lithosphereoceaniclithospheric
Plate tectonics (from the Late Latin tectonicus, from the τεκτονικός "pertaining to building") is a scientific theory describing the large-scale motion of seven large plates and the movements of a larger number of smaller plates of the Earth's lithosphere, since tectonic processes began on Earth between 3.3 and 3.5 billion years ago.
The lithosphere is subdivided into tectonic plates.

Expanding Earth

Expanding Earth theoryExpanding Earth hypothesisEarth is growing
Earlier theories, since disproven, proposed gradual shrinking (contraction) or gradual expansion of the globe.
Although it was suggested historically, since the recognition of plate tectonics in the 1970s, scientific consensus has rejected any significant expansion or contraction of Earth.

Seafloor spreading

sea floor spreadingsea-floor spreadingspreading centers
The geoscientific community accepted plate-tectonic theory after seafloor spreading was validated in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
The phenomenon is known today as plate tectonics.

Scientific theory

theoryscientific theoriestheories
Plate tectonics (from the Late Latin tectonicus, from the τεκτονικός "pertaining to building") is a scientific theory describing the large-scale motion of seven large plates and the movements of a larger number of smaller plates of the Earth's lithosphere, since tectonic processes began on Earth between 3.3 and 3.5 billion years ago.
These qualities are certainly true of such established theories as special and general relativity, quantum mechanics, plate tectonics, the modern evolutionary synthesis, etc.

Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Reykjanes RidgeAtlantic RidgeMid-Atlantic
Plate motions range up to a typical 10–40 mm/year (Mid-Atlantic Ridge; about as fast as fingernails grow), to about 160 mm/year (Nazca Plate; about as fast as hair grows).
The Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) is a mid-ocean ridge, a divergent tectonic plate or constructive plate boundary located along the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, and part of the longest mountain range in the world.

Mountain

mountainsmountainouspeak
Earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain-building, and oceanic trench formation occur along these plate boundaries (or faults).
All three types are formed from plate tectonics: when portions of the Earth's crust move, crumple, and dive.

Ring of Fire

Pacific Ring of Firecircum-Pacific orogenic beltPacific Rim
The majority of the world's active volcanoes occur along plate boundaries, with the Pacific Plate's Ring of Fire being the most active and widely known today.
The Ring of Fire is a direct result of plate tectonics: the movement and collisions of lithospheric plates, especially subduction in the northern portion.

Earthquake

earthquakesseismic activityseismic
Earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain-building, and oceanic trench formation occur along these plate boundaries (or faults).
Earthquakes often occur in volcanic regions and are caused there, both by tectonic faults and the movement of magma in volcanoes.

Earth science

Earth Sciencesgeosciencesgeoscience
The geoscientific community accepted plate-tectonic theory after seafloor spreading was validated in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Plate tectonics, mountain ranges, volcanoes, and earthquakes are geological phenomena that can be explained in terms of physical and chemical processes in the Earth's crust.

Craton

cratonsintracratonicintra-cratonic
Continental lithosphere is typically about 200 km thick, though this varies considerably between basins, mountain ranges, and stable cratonic interiors of continents.
Having often survived cycles of merging and rifting of continents, cratons are generally found in the interiors of tectonic plates.

Mantle convection

convectionconvectingmantle convecting
Lateral density variations in the mantle result in convection; that is, the slow creeping motion of Earth's solid mantle.
The lithosphere is divided into a number of plates that are continuously being created and consumed at their opposite plate boundaries.

Pacific Plate

PacificPacific tectonic platePacific crust
As a result of this density stratification, oceanic crust generally lies below sea level (for example most of the Pacific Plate), while continental crust buoyantly projects above sea level (see the page isostasy for explanation of this principle).
The Pacific Plate is an oceanic tectonic plate that lies beneath the Pacific Ocean.

Continental collision

collisioncollidedcollisional
Continental collision is a phenomenon of the plate tectonics of Earth that occurs at convergent boundaries.

East African Rift

Rift ValleyEast African Rift ValleyGreat Rift Valley
The rift, a narrow zone, is a developing divergent tectonic plate boundary where the African Plate is in the process of splitting into two tectonic plates, called the Somali Plate and the Nubian Plate, at a rate of 6-7 mm annually.

Arthur Holmes

Holmes, ArthurProfessor Arthur Holmes
This theory was launched by Arthur Holmes and some forerunners in the 1930s and was immediately recognized as the solution for the acceptance of the theory as originally discussed in the papers of Alfred Wegener in the early years of the century.
He pioneered the use of radiometric dating of minerals and was the first earth scientist to grasp the mechanical and thermal implications of mantle convection, which led eventually to the acceptance of plate tectonics.

Serpentinite

serpentineserpentinizationserpentinized
The mineral alteration is particularly important at the sea floor at tectonic plate boundaries.

Asthenosphere

asthenosphericasthenospheric mantleaesthenosphere
Tectonic plates are able to move because the Earth's lithosphere has greater mechanical strength than the underlying asthenosphere.
The asthenosphere is a part of the upper mantle just below the lithosphere that is involved in plate tectonic movement and isostatic adjustments.