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the earth's rigid crust and top of the mantle that sits on the athenosphere


the earth's softer rock that sits below the lithosphere and convects


a process where heating from below and cooling from above cause a liquid rise and fall in a circular motion


the amount of matter in a certain amount of space (mass per unit volume)

Inner Core

the earth's layer consisting of a ball of hot solid metals at the center of the earth

Outer Core

the earth's layer consisting of liquid metals that surrounds the inner core


the earth's thickest layer that sits above the outer core and consists of molten rock


the earth's layer that consists of cool rock on the outside of the earth

Tectonic Plates

broken up pieces of the lithosphere that move due to convection

Hot Spots

areas where heated rock rises in thin columns to form a volcano that can rise above the surface of the water (Ex. Hawaii)

Mid-Ocean Ridge

huge underwater mountain ranges where tectonic plates move away from each other

Plate Tectonic Theory

the theory that states the Earth's lithosphere is made up of huge plates that move over the surface of the earth

Convergent Boundary

a boundary that occurs where tectonic plates are pushing together

Divergent Boundary

a boundary that occurs where tectonic plates are moving apart

Transform Boundary

a boundary that occurs where tectonic plates are sliding past one another

Continental Crust

thicker, less dense crust that goes on top of oceanic crust when they converge

Oceanic Crust

thinner, more dense crust that goes under continental cruse when they converge


one tectonic plate going under another tectonic plate (typically oceanic crust going under continental crust)

Continental-Continental Collision

two continental plates collide, forming mountains

Continental-Oceanic Collision

an oceanic plate collides with a continental plate causing the subduction to the oceanic plate

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