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The name Wegner gave to the supercontinent.

Transform Fault Boundary

Occur when two plates grind past each other.

Convective flow

Warm, less dense material rises and cooler, more dense material sink.

Rift Valley

Deep faulted structures that occur at a divergent boundary between two landmasses.


Rocks that show the location of the magnetic poles at the time of their formation

Ridge Push

Oceanic lithosphere slides down the sides of the oceanic ridge, pushing the plates apart.


The segments of the lithosphere.


The surface feature created at a subduction zone.

Reverse Polarity

When rocks show opposite magnetism as the present magnetic field.

Normal Polarity

When rocks show the same magnetism as the present magnetic field

Plate Tectonics

The theory that the rigid lithosphere of Earth is divided into different sections that "float" along on top of the weaker mantle region.

Convergent boundary

Occur when two plates move toward each other.

Oceanic ridge

The elevated seafloor that develops along a divergent plate boundary.

Hot spot

A rising plume of mantle material is located below the crust, which melts the rock near the surface, allowing magma to move though.

Continental drift

The continents were once connected as a single supercontinent, and slowly moved apart.

Continental volcanic arc

Produced in part by the volcanic activity that is caused by the subduction of oceanic lithosphere under a continental plate.


Old oceanic crust, which is relatively cool, sinks into the asthenosphere (mantle) and "pulls" the trailing lithosphere (crust) along

Seafloor spreading

The process by which plate tectonics produces new oceanic lithosphere

Mantle Plume

Hot plumes of rock that are the upward flowing arms in mantle convection

Subduction zone

Destructive plate margin where oceanic crust is being pushed down into the mantle by a second plate.

Volcanic island arc

A chain of small volcanic islands created by the subduction of oceanic plates under another oceanic plate.

Divergent boundary

Occur when two plates move apart

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