plate tectonic theory


Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to plate tectonic theory: Seafloor Spreading Theory
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.plate tectonic theory - 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 ?
Plate tectonic theory says the Earth's crust is made up of about a dozen major plates that rest on hot mantle.
Ever since plate tectonic theory was developed, scientists have been puzzled by mountain formation at subduction zones - where one tectonic plate slides under the other.
Chester, a world-renowned expert, explains all three phenomena using plate tectonic theory, and he also relates how scientists developed this theory over time.
This one-semester textbook introduces plate tectonic theory, examines Earth's materials and the geologic processes associated with them, explains the forces behind earthquakes and mountain building, and describes Earth's surface processes.
Wilson (1963) proposed that the trails reflect movement of oceanic plates over fixed mantle hotspots, an idea central to acceptance of plate tectonic theory.