plate tectonics

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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

plate tectonics


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The study of how lithospheric plates move around.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
In international cooperation, it was possible to follow the route of the approximately 100 kilometers thick Indian continental plate beneath Tibet.
The oceanic plate sticks as it is forced to slide under the continental plate, building up a tremendous strain along this interface, which gives way periodically with an earth-shaking release of energy.
While being subducted, sediments are scraped off the oceanic plate and added to the overriding continental plate.
Heaton and Hartzell suspect that this shallow descent reflects teh buoyancy of the young crust, and that because it is buoyant, the oceanic plate pushes up on the overriding continental plate, jamming the two together.
Two suture zones, i) the Northern suture (MKT) and the Southern suture (MMT) mark tectonic boundaries of the arc with the Karakoram micro-continent and the Indian continental plate respectively.
Some mountains mark the site of a former plate collision where one continental plate has ridden up over another, resulting in a zone of highly deformed and elevated rocks.
In Mexico's case, an oceanic plate - the Cocos - is gradually sinking beneath a continental plate - the North American.
Because it would have been like trying to turbocharge a continental plate. The thing was so big and lumbering that encouraging drivers to make it go faster would have been a recipe for disaster.
States party to the convention must prevent, reduce and control pollution coming from telluric sources, ships, waste immersion, activities on the continental plate, the atmosphere and cross-border movements of waste.
"The Menai Strait separates the former continental plate, of which Snowdon is part, from the Oceanic part which Anglesey is part of.
The city has a seismically active area located close to a belt of continental plate movements, soft soil areas and places close to the Yamuna.

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