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PLATE BOUNDARY NOTES
Plate Tectonics: A Scientific Revolution Unfolds
On the plate tectonics app, select the intermediate level, then view the section called “Plate Tectonics: A Scientific
Revolution Unfolds.” As you click through the slides, fill in the following information
The 7 major plates are: North American, Eurasian, South American, African, Australian, Indian, and Antarctic
Smaller plates are Philippine, Arabian, Scotia, Caribbean, Nazca, Cocos, Juan de Fuca
Plates are always moving.
Earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain building occur along plate boundaries.
The three types of plate boundaries are:
1. divergent 2. convergent 3. transform
Divergent Plate Boundaries
On the plate tectonics app, select the intermediate level, then view the section called “Divergent Plate Boundaries.” As
you click through the slides, fill in the following information
At a divergent boundary, plates move apart.
As a plate moves apart, magma oozes upward.
New seafloor is created. This is called seafloor spreading
Continental rifting is when a landmass splits.
Two or more smaller continents form as a result of continental spreading.
When land splits in two, new continents can be created.
Sketch of a divergent plate boundary:
Convergent Plate Boundaries
On the plate tectonics app, select the intermediate level, then view the section called “Convergent Plate Boundaries.” As
you click through the slides, fill in the following information
At a convergent boundary, land is being destroyed.
Two plates come together and one subducts/sinks under the other, creating a subduction zone.
The three situations that can occur at a convergent boundary are:
1. continental lithosphere overrides oceanic lithosphere
2. oceanic lithosphere is subducted beneath another oceanic plate
3. two continental plates collide
Sketch a continental-oceanic convergent boundary.
The oceanic plate subducts under the continental plate.
Water is squeezed out of the subducting slab, which causes the rock in the overlying asthenosphere to melt
Magma rises to the surface and forms volcanoes.
These volcanoes are part of a continental volcanic arc.
Examples: Andes and Cascades.
Sketch an oceanic-oceanic convergent boundary.
A similar process occurs as in situation #1, but volcanic island arcs are formed.
Examples: Japan, Aleutians, Tonga, and Philippines.
Sketch a continental-continental boundary.
Continental crust can’t sink/subduct much, so the plates collide.
Non-volcanic mountains form, such as the Himalayas.
Transform Plate Boundaries
On the plate tectonics app, select the intermediate level, then view the section called “Transform Plate Boundaries.” As
you click through the slides, fill in the following information
Plates slide horizontally past each other.
No land is created or destroyed
Example: San Andreas Fault
Earthquakes are very common along transform plate boundaries.
Sketch a transform boundary.
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