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Foreman/Stapp 14

Tectonic Plates - 6.10CD

TermDefinition
Tectonic Plates Huge pieces of lithosphere that slowly move on the asthenosphere and consist of the crust and the rigid, uppermost part of the mantle.
North American Plate A tectonic plate division of the lithosphere that includes the continental crust of Greenland, North America, Siberia, and the surrounding oceanic crust.
Eurasian Plate A tectonic plate division of the lithosphere, including most of the landmasses of Europe and Asia.
African Plate A tectonic plate division of the lithosphere that includes the continental crust of Africa and the surrounding oceanic crust.
South American Plate A tectonic plate division of the lithosphere that includes the continental crust of South America and the oceanic crust extending to the Mid-Atlantic ridge.
Indo-Australian Plate A tectonic plate division of the lithosphere that includes the continental crust of India and Australia and the surrounding oceanic crust.
Pacific Plate A tectonic plate division of the lithosphere that is composed entirely of oceanic crust and lies beneath the Pacific Ocean.
Antarctic Plate A tectonic plate division of the lithosphere that includes the continental crust of Antarctica and the surrounding oceanic crust.
Density of Plates The amount of matter in a given space or volume; oceanic crust is thinner, but denser than continental crust.
Crustal Rock Material Crust can be either oceanic, which is thin and dense, or continental, which is thick and less dense.
Plate Boundary The place where two different plates have contact.
Convergent Boundary Occurs when two tectonic plates move toward each other and collide.
Subduction The process in which a denser plate is pushed downward beneath a less dense plate when plates converge; occurs at continental to oceanic boundaries and oceanic to oceanic boundaries.
Volcanic Eruptions Events in which molten rock spews out from the mantle to the surface of Earth as ash, lava, and gases; major geological events that occur when a dense plate subducts below a less dense plate.
Mountain Building Major geological event that occurs when continental plates of equal density converge, resulting in mountain chains.
Divergent Boundary Occurs when two tectonic plates move away from each other.
Spreading Ridges Ridges formed from new crustal material at diverging oceanic plate boundaries.
Ocean Basin An area of oceanic crust covered by seawater and surrounded by areas of continental crust.
Transform Boundary Occurs when two tectonic plates slide past each other.
Earthquakes Major geological events that occur when plates shift suddenly and release stored energy; frequent occurrences along all types of plate boundaries.
Geological Events Ecological damage of a direct geologic nature, such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes
Plate Tectonics A theory that Earth’s lithosphere (the crust and upper mantle) is divided into a number of large, plate-like sections that move as distinct masses