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Sections of Earth's lithosphere that is composed of the crust and upper mantle.


a supercontinent containing all of Earth's land that existed about 260 million years ago


the solid, outer layer of the earth that consists of the crust and the rigid upper part of the mantle

continental drift

the hypothesis that states that the continents once formed a single landmass, broke up, and drifted to their present locations

plate tectonics

the theory that pieces of Earth's lithosphere are in constant motion, driven by convection currents in the mantle


move together


the process by which oceanic crust sinks beneath a deep-ocean trench and back into the mantle at a convergent plate boundary

plate boundaries

plates that move apart as a result of pulling forces that act in opposite directions on each plate. it forms new crust


move apart

mid ocean ridge

An underwater moutain chain where new ocean floor is formed


two plates slide past each other in opposite directions


a shaking or sliding of the ground. It is caused by the sudden movement of masses of rock along a fault or by changes in the size and shape of masses of rock far beneath the earth's surface.

3 types of stress

tension, shearing and compression


stress that pushes masses of rock in opposite directions, in a sideways movement


stress that stretches rock so that it becomes thinner in the middle


Stress that squeezes rock until it folds or breaks.


breaks in Earth's crust where rocks have slipped past each other

3 types of faults

normal, reverse and strike-slip faults

strike slip faults

known as transform faults when coincide with plate boundary; motion is entirely horizontal

normal fault

A type of fault where the hanging wall slides downward; caused by tension in the crust.

reverse fault

a type of fault where the hanging wall slides upward; caused by compression in the crust (opposite of a normal fault)

fault block mountains exist in

Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah

folding mountains

Mountains caused by compression and folding.

what type of plate movement creates folding mountains

folds are bends in the rock that form when compression shortens ad thickens part of the earth's crust

hanging wall

The block of rock that forms the upper half of a fault.


The block of rock that forms the lower half of the fault

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