Plate Tectonics
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I feel the Earth move under my feet.....but why????

Go to the following web sites and read the content of the pages which are links. Questions to be answered are below each link. You will see this material on a test for this chapter.

The ABC's of Plate Tectonics

1.Why was the Theory of Continental Drift not accepted for half a century?

Click on "The Basics of Plate Tectonics".

2. Why is ice on a pond not a good analogy for plate tectonics?

3. Where is new sea floor being created?

4. What is happening to the old sea floor as the new sea floor is being created?

5. Explain the process by which volcanoes are formed along subduction zones.

6. List 2 examples of volcanic islands created along subduction zones.

7. What happens to continental plates that collide, when neither is subducted?

8. List an example for your answer to #7.

9. Plumes are thought to be what?

10. List 2 examples of areas formed over plumes.

11. Deep seated earthquakes usually occur what areas relative to plate boundaries?

12. Shallow earthquakes usually occur in areas with what type of motion?

Click on "Lesson #1 Buoyancy and Floating Continents".
13. What makes a piece of wood float in water?

14. What is the first principle of buoyancy?

15. The level at which a solid will float in water is determined by what?

16. What is isostatic equilibrium?

17. Describe how isostatic equilibrium is maintained by various processes.

18. Describe the age and elevation of the chain of Hawaiian Islands relative to their distance from the "big island". (What happens to their age and elevation relative to their distance from the big island?)

Click on lesson #3

19. What is the most dramatic event in plate tectonics?

20. What happens when a trench reaches the continental margin?

21. What evidence indicates that a subduction zone may form within the interior of a continent?

22. The exact nature of the deformation of continental material which is too buoyant to be subducted is largely controlled by what?

23. Given enough time, what will happen to the Appalachian mountains of the eastern U.S.?

24. Using the link below (USGS), zoom out until you see the entire surface of the Earth. In what geographic area are most of the earthquakes on the list located?


The following are not required, but may prove useful.


UCal Berkeley


Central Florida Community College links

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