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The theory of plate tectonics states that the Earth's surface, the upper mantle and crust, was once made up of enormous rock plates that broke into smaller pieces approximately 300 million years ago. These smaller, broken plates form a more fluid rock surface in the mantle. Over time, the plates mov


Plate tectonics theory, formerly known as the theory of continental drift, is well supported in geology, geography and biology. It has the power to explain many phenomena, such as volcanoes and earthquakes. The theory provides a working model for analyses of phenomena that scientists observe. This e


According to the U.S. Geological Survey website, tectonic plates are massive, irregular-shaped slabs of solid rock, composed of oceanic and continental lithosphere. The continental crust is made up of lightweight minerals like feldspar and quartz, while the oceanic crust is made of heavier and dense


There are seven major tectonic plates on the planet that are further subdivided into dozens of smaller plates. Geologists do not always agree on how to subdivide the minor plates. Each plate is in motion relative to the other plates.


Plate tectonics is primarily caused by Earth's cooling mechanism, which generates convection currents in the planet's mantle that trigger slow but constant tectonic plate movement. This phenomena occurs on the boundaries of adjacent plates, which are classified as divergent, convergent and transform


Continental and oceanic are the two types of tectonic plates. Continental plates tend to be larger than oceanic and bear the majority of a continent's mass. Continental plates tend to be much thicker on average, but less dense.


Each continent is embedded onto plates, which are made from lithospheres - Earth's outermost layer. Because this layer is stronger than the underlying layer, it is able to move. Several forces encourage it to do this, which means Earth's landmass remains the same, but the location of continents shif


According to About.com, plate tectonics is the scientific theory that attempts to explain the movement of the Earth's lithosphere, which has formed the landscape features seen across the globe. It provides geology with a comprehensive theory that explains how the Earth works.


Tectonic plates shift as a result of the intense heat at the Earth's core, which causes molten rock in the mantle layer to rise, while cooler rock near the surface sinks back down. This is a process referred to as thermal convection.


Earth's tectonic plates move due to the movement of magma in the mantle underneath the crust. Extreme temperatures inside the planet's core cause a convection cycle in which hot magma rises to the surface and eventually sinks back toward the core as it cools.