plate tectonics

(redirected from Plate boundary)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Related to Plate boundary: Divergent plate boundary

plate tectonics

n.
1. (used with a sing. verb) A theory that explains the global distribution of geological phenomena such as seismicity, volcanism, continental drift, and mountain building in terms of the formation, destruction, movement, and interaction of the earth's lithospheric plates.
2. (used with a sing. or pl. verb) The dynamics of plate movement.

plate′-tec·ton′ic adj.

plate tectonics

n
(Geological Science) (functioning as singular) geology the study of the structure of the earth's crust and mantle with reference to the theory that the earth's lithosphere is divided into large rigid blocks (plates) that are floating on semifluid rock and are thus able to interact with each other at their boundaries, and to the associated theories of continental drift and seafloor spreading

plate′ tecton′ics


n.
a geologic theory that describes the earth's crust as divided into a number of rigid plates, movement of which accounts for such phenomena as continental drift and the distribution of earthquakes.
[1965–70]
plate′-tecton′ic, adj.

plate tectonics

In geology, a theory that the Earth's lithosphere (crust and upper mantle) is divided into a number of large, plate-like sections that move as distinct masses. See Notes at fault, Gondwanaland, See more at tectonic boundary.
Did You Know? Have you ever noticed that the Earth's continents seem to fit together like pieces of a puzzle? This observation is what led the German meteorologist Alfred Wegener to propose the theory of continental drift in 1915. Since rocks and fossils were found to match up in parts of different continents, it seemed that they must have once been joined, but no one could explain how such large landmasses could move so far apart. This problem was not solved until the 1960s, when the theory of plate tectonics was proposed. According to this theory, the continents move apart by riding piggyback on plates—huge slabs of the Earth's lithosphere—that are much larger than the continents themselves. The plates move like parts of a conveyor belt powered by huge convection currents of molten rock that many geologists believe is heated by the decay of radioactive elements deep within the Earth. Although they only move a few inches per year, over hundreds of millions of years the continents are carried thousands of miles. Along their boundaries, the plates crumple, scrape, or pull apart from one another, giving rise to volcanoes and earthquakes and creating and destroying rock on the ever-changing surface of the planet.

plate tectonics


click for a larger image
The study of how lithospheric plates move around.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.plate tectonics - the branch of geology studying the folding and faulting of the earth's crust
geomorphology, morphology - the branch of geology that studies the characteristics and configuration and evolution of rocks and land forms
Pangaea, Pangea - (plate tectonics) a hypothetical continent including all the landmass of the earth prior to the Triassic period when it split into Laurasia and Gondwanaland
References in periodicals archive ?
The information will give scientists important new insights into the behavior of slow-slip events and their relationship to earthquakes along a subduction plate boundary.
Geologists revealed that the earthquake occurred over a thousand kilometres from the nearest tectonic plate boundary, scientifically known as an 'intraplate' earthquake.
These GPS receivers were installed as part of the National Science Foundation's Plate Boundary Observatory to measure the motion of the tectonic plates that sleep below our feet.
Goldfinger is a marine geologist and geophysicist with a focus on great earthquakes and structure of plate boundary fault zones around the world.
Presently, the Chaman/Omach-Nal Transform Fault Zone (COTFZ) marks the western plate boundary between the two continental plates.
The quake came as a result of movement at or near the plate boundary between the Nazca and Pacific plates, the US Geological Survey said.
According to the USGS, the earthquake occurred as a result of predominantly strike-slip faulting in the complex plate boundary region between the Indian and Eurasian plates in Southeast Asia.
The book chapters cover the significance of seismic wave-speed minima and thermal maxima in the mantle and the role of dynamic melting, weak elastic anisotropy in global seismology, top-driven asymmetric mantle convection, whether the Pacific megagash is a future plate boundary, the Yellowstone "hot spot" track results from migrating basin-range extension, and the mantle isotopic printer: basic mantle plume geochemistry for seismologists.
First, most of the European Plate boundary in the Arctic is offshore, and hence, sub-sea networks must be built for solid earth observation.
ten Brink and Lopez-Venegas (2012) used the horizontal components of continuous GPS measurements from 10 stations on Caribbean Islands to evaluate strain accumulation along the North American-Caribbean plate boundary.
This is due to Malaysia is away from the tectonic plate boundary and possibility of earthquake will be happen in Malaysia is almost impossible.
In: The Caribbean-South American Plate Boundary and Regional Tectonics, edited by W.