Geography - Types of Plate Boundary

The information you need to know about the three plate boundaries for your AQA Geography B exam.

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Destructive Plate Boundaries

  • plates move towards each other
  • one is forced beneath the other
  • subduction zone is formed
  • ocean floor pulled downwards
  • plate on top is buckled
  • mountain ranges form on top plate
  • bottom plate begins to melt
  • magma is formed
  • magma reaches the surface through cracks in crust
  • eruptions occur and volcanoes are formed
  • pressure builds as plates grind together
  • sudden release of pressure results in earthquake
  • shockwaves at the surface.
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Constructive Plate Boundaries

  • plates move away from each other
  • new crust is formed when magma rises between plates
  • frequent eruptions cause ridge above ocean floor
  • sea floor spreads
  • continental drift
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Conservative Plate Boundary

  • plates slide sideways past each other
  • no crust formed
  • no crust destroyed
  • few volcanic eruptions occur here
  • however, earthquakes are frequent & strong
  • plates may lock together
  • pressure builds
  • when they snap lose, earthquake occurs
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Quick Summary

Destructive plate boundaries: destroy crust

Constructive plate boundaries: form new crust

Conservative plate boundaries: no crust destroyed or formed

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