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PlateMotion Glossary

Glossary for terms used in the Plate Motion Unit

TermDefinition
continent any of Earth’s main continuous areas of land, such as Africa, Asia, and North America
convergent moving toward the same place
cross section a diagram that shows what the inside of something looks like
divergent moving apart in different directions
earthquake a sudden shaking of Earth’s surface
eruption the sudden pushing out of something, such as lava from a volcano
fossil evidence of life from the past, such as fossilized bones, footprints, or leaf prints
geyser a natural spring that sends hot water and steam suddenly into the air from a hole in the ground
landform a feature that forms on the surface of a planet, such as a mountain, channel, or sand dune
lava hot liquid rock on the surface of Earth
magma hot liquid rock below the surface of Earth
mantle the layer of soft, solid rock underneath Earth’s plates
Mesosaurus an extinct reptile that lived about 300 million years ago
mid-ocean ridge an underwater mountain range formed when two plates move apart
model an object, diagram, or computer program that helps us understand something by making it
outer layer Earth’s outermost layer of hard, solid rock that is underneath the soil, vegetation, and water
pattern something we observe to be similar over and over again
plate one of the very large sections of hard, solid rock that make up Earth’s outer layer
plate boundary the place where two plates meet
rate how often or fast something happens
rifting the slow pulling apart of land that is caused by plate movement
surface the outside or top layer of something
system a set of interacting parts forming a complex whole
trench a long, deep indentation in the ocean floor formed when two plates move together
volcanic activity any of the many processes (such as eruptions and lava flows) in which gas, lava, and ash are pushed out on the surface of Earth
analyze to examine in detail for a purpose
Created by: reem.habbak