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Plate Tectonics

Plate Tectonics Vocab

TermDefinition
Section 1.
Crust The outermost layer of the Earth.
Mantle The layer of Earth between the crust and the core.
Core The layer of the Earth that extends from below the mantle to the center of the Earth.
Lithosphere The solid, outer layer of the Earth that consists of the crust and the rigid upper part of the mantle
Asthenosphere The soft layer of the mantle on which the tectonic plates move.
Mesosphere The strong, lower part of the mantle between the asthenosphere and the outer core
Tectonic plate Pieces of the lithosphere that move around on top of the asthenosphere.
Section 2.
Continental Drift The hypothesis that states that the continents once formed a single landmass, broke up, and drifted to their present locations.
Sea-floor Spreading The process by which new oceanic lithosphere forms as magma rises towards the surface and solidifies.
Section 3.
Plate Tectonics The theory that explains how large pieces of the Earth's outermost layer, called tectonic plates, move and change shape.
Convergent Boundary The boundary formed by the collision of two lithospheric plates.
Divergent Boundary The boundary between two tectonic plates that are moving away from each other.
Transform Boundary The Boundary between tectonic plates that are sliding past each other horizontally.
Section 4.
Compression Stress that occurs when forces act to squeeze an object.
Tension Stress that occurs when forces act to stretch an object.
Folding. The bending of rock layers due to stress.
Fault A break in a body of rock along which one block slides relative to another.
Uplift The rising of regions of the Earth's crust to lower elevations.
Subsidence The sinking of regions of the Earth's crust to lower elevations.
Normal Fault When rocks are pulled apart because of tension, normal faults are formed.
Reverse Fault When rock are pushed together by compression, reverse faults often form.
Strike-Slip Fault When rocks are moved horizontally by opposing forces, strike-slip faults often form.
Folded Mountains When rock layers are squeezed together and pushed upward.
Volcanic Mountains When the rock that is melted in subduction zones forms magma, which rises to the Earth's surface and erupts to form volcanic mountains.
Rift Zone A set of deep cracks that forms between two tectonic plates that are pulling away from each other.
Created by: melanieediger