Tectonic Plates

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  • Created by: rachel
  • Created on: 27-05-13 10:21

The Earth's surface

1. The centre of the Earth is called the core. It is made of solid iron and nickel

2. The mantle surrounds the core. It is made of semi-molten rock and moves very slowly

3. The outer layer is called the crust. It is very thin (20km). It is seperated into tectonic plates


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Destructive plate margins

1. Two plates (oceanic and continental)  moving towards each other

3. The denser oceanic plate is forced under the continental plate into the mantle and is destroyed

4. Often creates volcanoes and ocean trenches

5. OR where two continental plates meet. The plates smash together but no crust is destroyed

Example: the east coast of Japan


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Constructive plate margins

1. Two plates are moving away from each other

2. Magma rises from the mantle to fill the gap and cools

3. Creates new crust

Example: Mid-atlantic ridge


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Conservative plate margins

1. Two plates are moving sideways past each other

2. OR two plates are moving in the same direction but at different speeds

3. Crust isn't created or destroyed

Example: the west coast of the USA


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Types of tectonic plate

4. There are two types of plate: continental and oceanic

5. Continental crust is thicker and less dense. Oceanic crust is thinner and more dense

7. Plates move because the mantle is moving underneath them

8. The places where the plates meet are called boundaries/plate margins

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