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Encyclopedia > Tectonic plate
The tectonic plates of the world were mapped in the second half of the 20th century.

A tectonic plate is a piece of the Earth's crust and uppermost mantle (together referred to as the lithosphere). The surface of the Earth consists of ten major tectonic plates and many more minor ones. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (4150x2832, 3128 KB) The Earths tectonic plates. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (4150x2832, 3128 KB) The Earths tectonic plates. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... Earth is the third planet from the Sun. ... Earth cutaway from core to exosphere. ... The tectonic plates of the Lithosphere on Earth. ...

The plates are around 100 km (60 miles) thick and consist of two principal types of material: oceanic crust (also called sima from silicon and magnesium) and continental crust (sial from silicon and aluminium). Under both lies a relatively plastic, although non-molten, layer of the Earth's mantle called the asthenosphere. General Name, Symbol, Number silicon, Si, 14 Chemical series metalloids Group, Period, Block 14, 3, p Appearance dark gray, bluish tinge Atomic mass 28. ... General Name, Symbol, Number magnesium, Mg, 12 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, Period, Block 2, 3, s Appearance silvery white Atomic mass 24. ... General Name, Symbol, Number aluminium, Al, 13 Chemical series poor metals Group, Period, Block 13, 3, p Appearance silvery Atomic mass 26. ... Earth cutaway from core to exosphere. ... Dont be afraid of big words. ...

The composition of the two types of crust differs markedly. Oceanic crust consists largely of basaltic rocks, while the continental crust consists principally of lower density granitic rocks rich in aluminium and silica. The two types of crust also differ in thickness, with continental crust considerably thicker than oceanic. Age of oceanic crust Oceanic crust is the part of Earths lithosphere which underlies the ocean basins. ... Basalt Basalt is a common gray to black volcanic rock. ... The continental crust is the layer of granitic, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks which form the continents and the areas of shallow seabed close to their shores, known as continental shelves. ... Density (symbol: ρ - Greek: rho) is a measure of mass per unit of volume. ... Quarrying granite for the Mormon Temple, Utah Territory. ...

The churning of the asthenosphere carries the plates along in a process known as continental drift, which is explained by the theory of plate tectonics. Interaction between the plates creates mountains and volcanoes, as well as giving rise to earthquakes and other geological phenomena. Portrayal of shifting continents The concept of continental drift was first proposed by Alfred Wegener. ... Plate tectonics (from the Greek word for one who constructs and destroys, τεκτων, tekton) is a theory of geology developed to explain the phenomenon of continental drift and is currently the theory accepted by the vast majority of scientists working in this area. ... Mount McKinley in Alaska has the largest visible base-to-summit elevation differences anywhere For other uses, see Mountain (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Volcano (disambiguation). ... Global earthquake epicenters, 1963–1998 An earthquake is a sudden and sometimes catastrophic movement of a part of the Earths surface. ...

The boundaries of the plates do not coincide with those of the continents. For instance, the North American Plate covers not only North America but also Greenland, far eastern Siberia and northern Japan. The North American plate is shown in brown on this map The North American Plate is a continental tectonic plate covering most of North America, extending eastward to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and westward to the Cherskiy Range in East Siberia. ... World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... Siberia Siberia (Russian: , common English transliterations: Sibir’, Sibir; from the Tatar for “sleeping land”) is a vast region of Russia and northern Kazakhstan constituting almost all of northern Asia. ...

As far as is known, the Earth is the only planet in the Solar System to possess active plate tectonics, although there are suggestions that different styles of plate tectonics were in operation on Mars, Venus, and some of the Galilean satellites in the past. Earth is the third planet from the Sun. ... Presentation of the solar system (not to scale) The solar system comprises the Earths Sun and the retinue of celestial objects gravitationally bound to it. ... Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the solar system, named after the Roman god of war (the counterpart of the Greek Ares), on account of its blood red color as viewed in the night sky. ... (*min temperature refers to cloud tops only) Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 9. ... Jupiters 4 Galilean moons, in a composite image comparing their sizes and the size of Jupiter (Great Red Spot visible). ...

See also

Global earthquake epicenters, 1963-1998. ...

External links

  • Bird, P. (2003) An updated digital model of plate boundaries also available as a large (13 mb) PDF file [1]
  • Map of tectonic plates

  Results from FactBites:
Plate Tectonics Earth Planet Model Patent (1840 words)
Each plate member (12) is formed of a durable, lightweight plastic material and molded in raised and indented relief to illustrate such tectonic features as subduction zones, collision zones, mid-ocean ridges, island chains, island arcs, continental shelves, terrestrial and ocean floor topography, and the like.
Plates (12) are attached to the exterior of a base globe (14) forming, as a whole, the surface layer of Earth, or lithosphere.
Plate tectonics is quickly becoming the unifying, or central, theme of Earth science and geology school curriculum across the nation and, indeed, around the world.
An Introduction to Plate Tectonics (2104 words)
According to the plate tectonic model, the surface of the Earth consists of a series of relatively thin, but rigid, plates which are in constant motion.
Plate movement takes place laterally away from the plate boundary, which is normall marked by a rise or a ridge.
As one of the plates is subducted beneath the other it begins to melt at a depth of between 90 and 150 km and the resulting magma rises to the surface above the subduction zone to form a chain or arc of volcanoes.
  More results at FactBites »



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