Facts About Plate Tectonics

Facts About Plate Tectonics
  • The theory that states that the Earth's "outer shell" is split into huge slabs of rock we call "plates," glide over the Earth's mantle is known as the Plate Tectonics
  • Alfred Wegener proposed this theory back in 1915 when it was still named the continental drift
  • Before plate tectonics, the continental drift theory was used to explain the geologic features of a region, which eventually became the unifying theory of geology.
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The earliest evidence of the tectonic plates was found in Greenland which was estimated to be abbout 3.8 billion years old. Covnersely, researchers have found that the tectonic plates have been active for as long as 4 billion years ago.

There have been two supercontinents: The Rodinia which happened a billion years ago while the most recent one The Pangea formed about 300 million years ago.

There are seven major plates that currently exist:

  1. North American
  2. Pacific
  3. Eurasian
  4. African
  5. Indo-Australian
  6. South American
  7. Antarctic

Although, evidence has been found that the Indo-Australian plate has cracked therefore making the total existing plates to 8.

  • Like a pot boiling on a stove, the driving force behind plate tectonics is the convection in the mantle where the hot material near the Earth's core rises while the colder materials sink.
  • The geologists see it differently though. They believe it's more of a "repeated collision" and call it plate boundaries. The three types of plate boundaries are: Convergent, Divergent, Transform.
  • These tectonic plates move at a rate of 1-2 inches per year.

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How much does mount Everest grow each year?

Readings suggest that Everest grows 0.1576 inches (about four millimeters) each year.

Other tectonic forces, however, may cost Everest some of its height.

Why Mount Everest keeps changing its height

nationalgeographic.com

National Geographic recognizes 5 oceans

Since National Geographic began making maps in 1915, it has recognized four oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic Oceans. Starting on the World Oceans Day 2021 (June 8) it has also recognized the Southern Ocean as the world’s fifth ocean. 

It has long been recognized by scientists, but the lack of an international agreement kept the editors from formally adding it to the list.

There’s a new ocean now—can you name all 5?

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About Volcanoes
  • Most volcanoes are formed when the boundaries of our planet's tectonic plates collide and overlap, eventually sinking deep inside.
  • Many get life by ‘hotspot volcanism’ which is the magmatic activity at the center of the tectonic plate.
  • Volcanoes have created the foundation of the land on our planet, crafting mountains, craters, soil beds and eventually making up to 80 percent of our surface.
  • About 1500 of them are active as of 2018.

Volcanoes, explained

nationalgeographic.com

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