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Unit 2 Vocabulary

Terms and definitions for unit 2

Plate Tectonics A theory explaining the structure of the earth's crust and many associated phenomena as resulting form the interaction of the rigid lithospheric plates which move slowly over the underlying mantle
Alfred Wegener German geophysicist who proposed the theory of continental drift
Pangea A supercontinent that incorporated almost all of earth's landmasses in early geological time.
Crust The solid, outermost layer of the Earth, lying above the mantle.
Lithosphere The rigid outer part of the earth, consisting of the crust and the upper mantle
Asthenosphere A zone in the upper mantle of the Earth, consisting of hot, plastic rock, that underlies the solid lithosphere.
Transform Boundary Places where plates slide sideways past each other
Sea-floor Spreading The formation of new areas of oceanic crust, which occurs through the upwelling of magma at mid ocean ridges and its subsequent outward movement on either side.
Convergent Boundary A tectonic boundary where two plates are moving toward each other
Divergent Boundary A tectonic boundary where two plates are moving away from each other and new crust is forming from magma that rises to the earth's surface between the two plates
Rift Valley a lowland region that forms where earth's tectonic plated move apart, or rift
Subduction The action or process in plate tectonics of the edge of one crustal plate descending below the edge of another
Convection Current Transfers heat from one place to another by mass motion of a fluid such as water, air, or molten rock
Continental Drift Theory A theory that explained how continents shift positions on earth's surface
Trench A very deep elongated cavity bordering a continent or an island arc; it formed when one tectonic plates slides beneath another
Ocean Basin A depression, or dip, in the seafloor
Hot Spot A small area or region with a relatively hot temperature in comparison to its surroundings
Mid-ocean Ridge A long, seismically active submarine ridge systems situated in the middle of an ocean basin and marking the site of the upwelling of magma associated with seafloor spreading.
Ring of Fire A geographical area go high volcanic and seismic activity around the edges of the Pacific Ocean.
Created by: aysiahhankins
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