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tectonic rift where the North American Plate is pulling away from the Eurasian Plate
Thingvellir, Iceland


1. Geology
a. Relating to or resulting from the forces that create the structural and deformational features of the earth's lithosphere, especially its continents, oceans, and mountains.
b. Of or relating to a tectonic plate or plates.
a. Relating to construction or building.
b. Architectural.

[Late Latin tectonicus, from Greek tektonikos, from tektōn, builder; see teks- in Indo-European roots.]

tec·ton′i·cal·ly adv.


1. (Building) denoting or relating to construction or building
2. (Geological Science) geology
a. (of landforms, rock masses, etc) resulting from distortion of the earth's crust due to forces within it
b. (of processes, movements, etc) occurring within the earth's crust and causing structural deformation
[C17: from Late Latin tectonicus, from Greek tektonikos belonging to carpentry, from tektōn a builder]
tecˈtonically adv


(tɛkˈtɒn ɪk)

1. pertaining to building or construction.
2. pertaining to the structure of the earth's crust.
[1650–60; < Late Latin tectonicus < Greek tektonikós pertaining to construction =tekton-, s. of téktōn carpenter + -ikos -ic]
tec•ton′i•cal•ly, adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.tectonic - pertaining to the structure or movement of the earth's crust; "tectonic plates"; "tectonic valleys"
geology - a science that deals with the history of the earth as recorded in rocks
2.tectonic - of or pertaining to construction or architecturetectonic - of or pertaining to construction or architecture


[tekˈtɒnɪk] ADJtectónico
tectonic movementmovimiento m tectónico
tectonic plateplaca f tectónica


[tɛkˈtɒnɪk] adjtectonique
References in periodicals archive ?
"We think it's very likely that these eight quakes were produced by faults slipping as stress built up when the lunar crust was compressed by global contraction and tidal forces, indicating that the Apollo seismometers recorded the shrinking moon and the moon is still tectonically active," explains Wafters.
The country's terrain is one of the most tectonically active and complex in the world.
And one explanation they offered as to why the Moon is still tectonically active despite not having a molten interior like Earth is that our natural satellite is quivering as it shrivels.&nbsp;
She is looking at how the nickel and copper moved from the Cubric location to surrounding rocks, whether tectonically or hydrothermally.
"Since this is the only tectonically active, rocky planet that we know, understanding the geology of how our continents formed is a crucial part of discerning what makes earth habitable," Shirey added
The island of Lampedusa, as the Italian playwright and journalist Davide Enia explains in this quiet yet urgent memoir, is territorially European but belongs tectonically to nearby Africa.
The former deforms the main mantle thrust (MMT) and is the most tectonically occupied domain in the world while the latter maim the main boundary thrust (MBT).
In the Pliocene, North and South America joined tectonically, the climate was arid, land bridges allowed animals to spread across continents and the Himalayas formed.
Although the Maldivian archipelago is a part of the tectonically stable portion of Indo-Australian plate and relatively free from seismic hazards, yet five shallow focus earthquakes (10 to 33 km deep) with magnitudes ranging from 4.0 to 7.1 on the Richter scale, have been recorded during the past seven decades.
'Whereas the rift has remained tectonically inactive in the recent past, there could be movements deep within the Earth's crust that have resulted in zones of weakness extending all the way to the surface.'