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Plate tectonics Essay Topics & Paper Examples

The theory of plate tectonics

How does the theory of plate tectonics help to explain the world distribution of earthquake and volcanic zones? The Earth’s crust is made up of seven major plates and several smaller plates. These plates drift on top of the mantle. When two plates meet, they can either be constructive, destructive or conservative. At a conservative plate margin, one plate moves past another. As the plates are not smooth, great amounts of tension build up and earthquakes are made when the tension is released and the plate moves. An example of a conservative plate margin is the San Andreas Fault. The North American plate moves South West at 5cm a year, whereas the Pacific plate moves North West at just 1cm…

Topographical Features at Divergent and Convergent Plate Margins

Divergent and convergent plate margins are both studied in plate tectonics; which is the study of the plates that makeup the lithosphere, their movements and how these movements has influenced changes in the surface’s topography (Strahler, 2011, 389). The driving force that causes these plate movements is the gradual movement of the semi-molten rock that makes up the asthenosphere (Kious, 1996, 28). Features observed at these margins share some similarities but, also vary quite largely. These differences are caused by the different movements displayed at each boundary and the types of plates involved; oceanic or continental. Divergent plate boundaries are where two plates are moving apart from one another (Ritter, 2012). The topographic features that develop at this boundary are…