Tectonic plates, or lithospheric plates, are constantly moving, being created, and consumed simultaneously. The motion sometimes results in earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain ranges at the plate boundaries. Plate motion is driven by heat escaping from the mantle. The constant movement of heat in the mantle leads to circular convection currents.
Evidence for Tectonic Plates. The continents are blocks of thick crust that are passengers on the tops of large tectonic plates (lithosphere) that move over a softer part of Earth’s mantle (asthenosphere). Earthquakes, mountain building and volcanic activity occur mostly at the boundaries of the moving plates.
The theory of plate tectonics states that the Earth’s solid outer crust, the lithosphere, is separated into plates that move over the asthenosphere, the molten upper portion of the mantle. Oceanic and continental plates come together, spread apart, and interact at boundaries all over the ted Reading Time: 6 mins.
The lithospheric plates and their names. The arrows show whether the plates are moving apart, moving together, or sliding past each other. Movement of the plates over Earth’s surface is termed plate tectonics. Plates move at a rate of a few centimeters a year, about the same rate fingernails grow.
The Lithosphere The part of the land that is moving is the Earth's surface called the lithosphere. The lithosphere is made up of the Earth's crust and a part of the upper mantle. The lithosphere moves in big chunks of land called tectonic plates. Some of these plates are huge and cover entire continents. Major and Minor Tectonic Plates.
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