What Is a Transform Boundary?

transform-boundary Credit: Andy Ryan/The Image Bank/Getty Images

According to Trinity University, a transform boundary is the intersection of lithospheric plates where the two plates slide past one another. Transform boundaries do not result in any extraordinary landforms; rather, they give rise to valleys and cause many earthquakes.

A well-known transform boundary is the San Andreas fault, which runs along the coast of California. The land to the west of the fault is moving northward, while the land to the east is moving southward.

Transform boundaries are relatively rare. Many are found along the mid-ocean ridges; these boundaries do not often occur on the continents. Transform boundaries do not give rise to any volcanic activity. Other boundaries between plates are the convergent boundaries and divergent boundaries.