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Earth: Our Home 3

Full Geography

Chapter 3
Plate Tectonics

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You Will Learn…

• to describe the distribution of plates


• to explain the movement of plates
• to describe the different plate movements
encountered at the various plate
boundaries

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Let’s think…

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How Was the Earth Created?

The BIG
Bang?

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How Old is the Earth?

Certainly not 2006 years old!

2 million?

3 billion?

Approximately 4.6 billion years old!


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What Pieces of Evidence Can
Help Us Determine the Age of
the Earth?

Fossils

Glaciers

Rocks

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The Isua Rocks

– Oldest volcanic rock formed from metasomatism


– Found in Quebec, Canada
– Between 3.7 to 3.8 billion years

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How Was Such Beauty Created?

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How Do We Explain Such Forces?

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Structure of the Earth

• Core
• Mantle
• Crust

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Spot the
Similarities!

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Layer Thickness Temperature Composition

Mostly iron
Inner Core 1 370 km and nickel in
3 000–5 000ºC SOLID form
Mostly iron
Outer Core 2 100 km and nickel in
MOLTEN form

Core
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Mantle

Layer Thickness Temperature Composition

Upper Magma in
Mantle SOLID and
2 900 km 1 400–3 000ºC MOLTEN
form
Lower
Mantle SOLID ROCK

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Crust

Layer Thickness Temperature Composition


Less dense
Continental 10–70 km minerals e.g.
Crust -14–1 200ºC aluminium

Denser
Oceanic 5–10 km minerals e.g.
Crust magnesium

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Crust

Oceanic
crust Continental
crust

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Tectonic Plates

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Wegner’s Theory on Pangea

Hmm…Why do the
continents seem
to fit together
like a jigsaw
puzzle??!

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Continental Drift Theory

Source : Wikipedia

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Plate Tectonic Theory

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TECTONIC PLATES

Continental Plates Oceanic Plates

• North American • Nazca


• South American • Pacific
• African • Philippine
• Eurasian • Cocos
• Indo-Australian Plate • Caribbean
• Antarctic • Scotia

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How Else Can the Plates be
Categorised?

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TECTONIC PLATES

Major Plates Minor Plates


• North American • Nazca
• South American • Pacific
• African • Philippine
• Eurasian • Cocos
• Indo-Australian Plate • Caribbean
• Antarctic • Scotia

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Any Guess of How and Why
They Are Constantly Moving?

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Convection Currents

Water cools

Cooled Cooled
water Hot water rises water
sinks sinks

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Types of Plate Boundaries
• Divergent
• Convergent
• Transform

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Divergent Convergent Transform

Oceanic-oceanic Oceanic-oceanic Transform fault


plate divergence convergence

Continental- Continental-
continental continental
plate divergence convergence

Oceanic-
continental
convergence

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Divergent Boundaries

Pulling apart of two plates


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Divergent Boundaries

Existing opening is widened


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Divergent Boundaries

A ridge is formed as a result


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Oceanic-oceanic Plate Divergence

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Oceanic-oceanic Plate Divergence

Younger rocks

Older rocks
Mid-oceanic ridge
Oceanic crust
Fracture

Rising magma Oceanic crust

Mid-Oceanic Ridge
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Continental-continental
Plate Divergence
East African Rift Valley

Continental Continental
crust crust

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Continental-continental
Plate Divergence

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Convergent Boundaries

Two plates moving towards each other

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Convergent Boundaries

Gradual movement in the same direction…

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Convergent Boundaries

…eventually leads to
potential collision over time
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Convergent Boundaries

Often leads to subduction of denser plate


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Convergent Boundaries

Often leads to subduction of denser plate,


and the uplifting of the lighter plate
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Convergent Boundaries
— Oceanic-continental convergence
Oceanic trench Fold mountains
and volcanoes

Oceanic
crust Continental
crust
Subduction
zone

Part of the Magma


plate melts
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Convergent Boundaries
— Oceanic-oceanic
convergence
Volcanic islands Oceanic trench

Undersea
volcano
Denser
Less oceanic
dense crust
oceanic Subduction
crust zone Mantle

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Convergent Boundaries
— Continental-continental
convergence
Fold mountains Bending and
folding of
crust

Denser
continental
Less dense crust
continental
crust Mantle

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Transform Boundaries

Two plates in sliding movement

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Transform Boundaries

Two plates in sliding movement


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Transform Boundaries

Two plates in sliding movement


will lead to fault lines 44
Transform Boundaries
Transform fault

Crust

Mantle

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Summary of Plate Movements
Fold
Oceanic crust mountain
Sea
Sea

Continental crust
Oceanic crusts

May be oceanic
or continental
crusts
Continental crusts

Sea Volcanic
Continental crusts island

Oceanic crusts
Transform Boundaries
Divergent Boundaries Convergent Boundaries 46
Quick Quiz
With an understanding of the
Continental Drift Theory, imagine what
the Earth will look like in one million
years’ from now.
Explain your answer using a diagram.