What are tectonic plates easy definition?
A tectonic plate (also called lithospheric plate) is a massive, irregularly shaped slab of solid rock, generally composed of both continental and oceanic lithosphere. The variations in plate thickness are nature’s way of partly compensating for the imbalance in the weight and density of the two types of crust.
What is the definition of plate tectonics in geography?
Plate tectonics is a scientific theory that explains how major landforms are created as a result of Earth’s subterranean movements. In plate tectonics, Earth’s outermost layer, or lithosphere—made up of the crust and upper mantle—is broken into large rocky plates.
What is a tectonic plate definition for kids?
Tectonic plates are broken pieces made of the Earth’s crust or lithosphere. Another name for them is crustal plates. Continental crust is less dense, and oceanic crust is denser. These rigid plates can move in different directions, shifting constantly.
How do tectonic plates move GCSE geography?
Plates are extremely heavy so gravity acts upon them, pulling them apart. Alternatively, as shown in the diagram, convection currents under the Earth’s crust transfer heat, which rises through the surface and cools back down in a circular motion. The convection currents move the plates.
What is the evidence that tectonic plates are moving?
Evidence from fossils, glaciers, and complementary coastlines helps reveal how the plates once fit together. Fossils tell us when and where plants and animals once existed. Some life “rode” on diverging plates, became isolated, and evolved into new species.
What are the 12 major tectonic plates?
The current continental and oceanic plates include: the Eurasian plate , Australian-Indian plate, Philippine plate , Pacific plate , Juan de Fuca plate , Nazca plate , Cocos plate , North American plate , Caribbean plate , South American plate , African plate, Arabian plate , the Antarctic plate, and the Scotia plate.
What is an example of a tectonic plate?
Plate tectonics involve large pieces of the Earth’s crust, which often move and collide with one another. The San Andreas Fault is an example of plate tectonic slippage, which can cause earthquakes.
What you should know about plate tectonics?
Plate tectonics is the scientific theory that attempts to explain the movements of the Earth’s lithosphere that have formed the landscape features we see across the globe today. By definition, the word “plate” in geologic terms means a large slab of solid rock.
What are the names of the Earth’s major plates?
There are nine major plates, according to World Atlas . These plates are named after the landforms found on them. The nine major plates are North American, Pacific, Eurasian, African, Indo-Australian, Australian, Indian, South American and Antarctic.