23 terms

Plate Tectonics and Continental Drift

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Terms in this set (...)

Plate Tectonics
The theory that the earth is broken into plates and are in motion due to convection currents in the asthenosphere (upper mantle)
Alfred Wegener
Proposed the continental drift theory in the 1900s
Pangea
term for the super continent which contained all the plates together
Crust
The thin and solid outermost layer of the Earth above the mantle
Continental Drift
The hypothesis that states that the continents once formed a single landmass, broke up, and drifted to their present locations
volcano
A weak spot in the crust where magma has come to the surface
evidence from fossils
shows that similar plants and animal fossils from one continent match fossil from another continent
evidence from landforms
shows that the shapes of current continents seem to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle
evidence from ancient climate
shows that fossils in an area didn't match the current climate; also how are glacier scratches found in hot environment?
convection current
transfer of energy that causes hot materials to become less dense and rise; this moves colder materials which are more dense down
magma
molten rock that pushes up from the mantle creating new crust
earthquakes
sudden movements of Earth's crust followed by a series of shocks and a release of seismic waves
Ring of Fire
cause by convergent boundaries, specifically oceanic-continental
San Andreas Fault
A major geological transform fault in California
hotspot
A weak spot in the middle of a tectonic plate where magma surfaces; forms a volcano (ex: Hawaii & Yellowstone)
tsunami
A giant wave usually caused by an earthquake beneath the ocean floor.
fault
A break in the earth's crust caused by the movement of tectonic plates.
lava
Magma that reaches Earth's surface
igneous rock
a type of rock that forms from the cooling of molten rock at or below the surface of the earth
Mantle
the layer of the earth between the crust and the core
inner core
A dense sphere of solid iron and nickel at the center of Earth
outer core
the liquid layer of the Earth's core that lies beneath the mantle and surrounds the inner core
sedimentary rock
a rock that forms from compressed or cemented layers of sediment

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