Historical Geology - Lunar and Planetary Institute

Historical Geology - Lunar and Planetary Institute

http://plateboundary.rice.edu/ Where are the Earths tectonic plates and their boundaries? What happens at plate boundaries? How do Earth scientists classify plate boundaries?

Part 1. Identify the patterns of your area of expertise volcanology, seismology, geography, geochronology - AT PLATE BOUNDARIES

Describe what you observe do not interpret what you see, just describe the patterns

Use descriptive terms: Wide or narrow, straight or curved, symmetric or not symmetric, deep or shallow, ridge or valley, active or inactive

Identify 3-5 boundary types; color each on your transparency; define in words Part 2. Bring together areas of expertise

volcanology, seismology, geography, geochronology Correlate your data sets; what collective patterns emerge?

Identify 3-5 boundary types; color each on a master transparency; define in words Part 3.

Describe What the different types of boundaries patterns were related in the different data sets?

Plate Boundaries Where Stuff Happens Plate Tectonics Theory The upper mechanical layer of Earth (lithosphere) is divided into rigid plates that move away, toward, and along

each other Most (!) geologic action occurs at plate boundaries in DISTINCT patterns Compositional Crust - 2 Mantle

Core Physical / Mechanical Lithosphere Asthenosphere Mesosphere 3 Basic Boundary

Interactions 5 Basic Boundary Types 1. Divergent Boundaries

Volcanic activity in fissures, some volcanos Shallow earthquakes, on plate boundary Young crust, symmetrical around boundary Ridge

Rocks? Mid-Atlantic Ridge North American Plate

Eurasian Plate Nazca Plate South American Plate Antarctic Plate

Andes Mountains 2. Convergent Boundaries (a) Ocean-continent convergence

Volcanos tight, parallel boundary, landward Shallow to deep earthquakes Age varies on one side of the boundary; not symmetrical

Trench, mountain chain Rocks? Peru-Chile Trench Nazca

P l a te Andes Mountains South American Plate

2. Convergent Boundaries (b) Ocean-ocean convergence

Volcanos tightly spaced, parallel boundary, arc Shallow to deep earthquakes Age varies on one side of the boundary; not symmetrical Trench, volcanic island chain Rocks?

Eurasian Plate Indian Plate Himalaya Mountains Tibetan Plateau

Himalayan Mtns. Mt. Everest 2. Convergent Boundaries (c) Continent-continent convergence

Volcanos rare, dispersed

Shallow (to medium) dispersed earthquakes No age data High mountain chain Rocks? Himalayan Mountains

Tibetan Plateau Eurasian Plate te

a l P n a i l

a str Indian-Au 3. Transform-Fault Boundaries

Volcanos dispersed, most on one side Earthquakes complex, shallow (to medium) on both sides Age data not symmetrical, one side of boundary

Complex topography, wide mountains and basins Rocks? Plate Tectonics The upper mechanical layer of Earth (lithosphere) is divided into rigid plates that move away, toward, and along each other

Most (!) geologic action occurs at plate boundaries in DISTINCT patterns Whats Driving Plate Tectonics on Earth?

Its all about convection and heat (loss)! Vigorous convection drives plate tectonics What skills did you use in undertaking

this activity? Historical use How

might you use it in your classroom?

What might you modify?

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