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Landforms at Plate Boundaries

For GCSE, you need to know about five landforms found at plate boundaries: fold mountains, mid ocean ridges, ocean trenches, composite volcanoes and shield volcanoes. 

Fold Mountains

Fold mountains are formed at collisional plate margins. They are formed when two plates of a similar density are forced together. Because they are of a similar density, instead of subducting under one another, they crumple upwards into fold mountains. They can also be formed at destructive plate margins, as the crumples in land as they are forced together under intense amounts of pressure can make them fold up into fold mountains. 

Syncline: if the folding is down and over the feature

Anticline: if the folding is up and over the feature

Overfold: if the folded rocks in an anticline go up and over themselves.

Geosynclines: depressions in the sea

Denudation: mass movement (of mountains)

Step by step of how fold mountains are formed....

1) Sediments accumulate in shallow seas or geosynclines.

2) The sediments compress to form layers of sedimentary rock.

3) When the plates come together, either at a destructive or collisional plate boundary, the rock begins to crumple upwards. 

4)The rocks form folds as anticlines and synclines, which are pushed upwards to form fold mountains. 

... The moutains are then subjects to denudation, weathering and erosion.

Ocean Trenches

Ocean trenches run along the coastline of a destructive plate margin - they are deep water areas. They are created at subduction zones, and mark the point at which the denser oceanic plate has been subduct under the less dense continental


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