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The theory of plate tectonics has done for geology what Charles Darwin's theory of evolution did for biology. It provides geology with a comprehensive theory that explains "how the Earth works." The theory was formulated in the 1960s and 1970s as new information was obtained about the nature of the ocean floor, Earth's ancient magnetism, the distribution of volcanoes and earthquakes, the flow of heat from Earth's interior, and the worldwide distribution of plant and animal fossils.

Image of a graph that displays the Tectonic Plate Boundary Types.  Please have someone assist you with this.

The theory states that Earth's outermost layer, the lithosphere, is broken into 7 large, rigid pieces called plates: the African, North American, South American, Eurasian, Australian, Antarctic, and Pacific plates. Several minor plates also exist, including the Arabian, Nazca, and Philippines plates.

The plates are all moving in different directions and at different speeds (from 2 cm to 10 cm per year--about the speed at which your fingernails grow) in relationship to each other. The plates are moving around like cars in a demolition derby, which means they sometimes crash together, pull apart, or sideswipe each other. The place where the two plates meet is called a plate boundary. Boundaries have different names depending on how the two plates are moving in relationship to each other

With respect to plate boundaries is your home located in the middle of, or near the boundary of a plate? What does this mean for you tectonically?

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Convergent Boundaries
Divergent Boundaries
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Plate Tectonics | Convergent Boundaries | Divergent Boundaries | Transform Boundaries

Diversity | Adaptation | Plate Tectonics | Cycles | Spheres | Biomes | Geologic Time

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