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 ... More » Science Earth Science Plate Tectonics

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, broke... More »

Hawaii sits on the Pacific Plate. Underneath this vast tectonic plate are hot spots, locations beneath the surface of the Earth where magma accumulates. This magma occasionally rises and solidifies on Earth's surface, fo... More » Science Earth Science Plate Tectonics

Tectonic plates and metamorphism are related because the geothermal gradients and metamorphic rocks produced during these phenomena are greatly affected by the movement and heating of the tectonic plates. When Earth?s li... More »

According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the reason the divergent plate boundaries at mid-ocean ridges don't result in gaps in the Earth's crust is that when the plates move apart, they all... More »

The Earth's crust is made up of a number of plates that sit on top of the mantle, which is made up of molten rock. The movement of these plates is called plate tectonics. Plate movement can, over time, cause mountains to... More »

The movement of tectonic plates causes earthquakes when two plates that are in contact with each other move in opposite directions and release built-up stress. For example, one plate may move north, while the other may m... More »