Plate Tectonics Benchmark Review

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Terms in this set (...)

Plate tectonics
A theory stating that the earth's surface is broken into plates that move.
Crust
Least dense layer. Earth's outermost layer.
Mantle
The layer of the earth between the crust and the core
Core
Most dense layer. Hot center of the Earth, made of iron and nickel.
Lithosphere
A rigid layer made up of the uppermost part of the mantle and lower the crust.
Divergent plate boundary
Boundary between tectonic plates in which the two plates move away from each other, and new crust is created between them
Convergent plate boundary
A tectonic plate boundary where two plates collide, come together, or crash into each other.
Seafloor Spreading
The process that creates new sea floor as plates move away from each other at the mid-ocean ridges
Ocean Trench
Deep valley in the ocean floor that forms along a subduction zone
Ring of Fire
A major belt of volcanoes that rims the Pacific Ocean.
Rift Valley
A deep valley that forms where two continental plates move apart
Magnitude
Measure of the energy released during an earthquake
Subduction
is the process by which denser oceanic lithosphere sinks back into the asthenosphere to melt and become magma
-occurs at oceanic convergent boundaries (plates move together or collide)
Mid-Ocean Ridge
a chain of mountain ranges (longest chain in the world) on the ocean floor where new oceanic crust forms
-forms at a divergent plate boundary where oceanic plates move away from each other
Convection Currents
A circulation pattern in which material is heated and rises in one area, then cools and sinks in another area, flowing in a continuous loop
-occurs in the asthenosphere
-diving force of the movement of the tectonic plates (lithosphere)
tectonic plates
huge moving slabs of solid rock
- broken up pieces of the lithosphere that move on top of the asthenosphere
-like pieces of a puzzle
boundary
a place where two tectonic plates meet
Transform boundary
the boundary between tectonic plates that are sliding past each other in opposite directions
- these plates grind and jerk as they slide which produces Earthquakes
faults
the surface along which rocks break and cracks in earth's surface
Continental-Continental Collisions
when two plates with continental crust collide, buckle and thicken, and pushes the continental crust upward, forms mountains
Oceanic-Oceanic Convergent Collisions
when two oceanic plates collide, the plate that is older and more dense is subducted underneath the less dense plate
-Island Arcs can form
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