Theory of Plate Tectonics

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plate tectonics

theory that Earth's crust and upper mantle are broken into plates that float and move around on a plasticlike layer of the mantle

plate

a large section of Earth's oceanic or continental crust and rigid upper mantle that moves around on the asthenosphere

lithosphere

rigid layers of Earth about 100 km think, made of the crust and a part of the upper mantle

asthenosphere

plastic-like layer of Earth on which the lithospheric plates float and move around

convection current

current in Earth's mantle that transfers hear in Earth's interior and is the driving force for plate tectonics

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