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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 ?
Trump speaks as if the economic power balance has changed little, when in fact it has changed tectonically.
It's a tectonically active area which (http://oceanexplorer.
42 which specifies that this region is homogeneous in lithology and tectonically stable.
Caption: A line of small scarps (arrows) on Mercury, seen in this image from the MESSENGER spacecraft, suggests that the planet has been tectonically active in the last 50 million years.
Our volcanic, tectonically unstable and typhoon-lashed archipelago, coupled with poor governance and lack of basic infrastructure and services, require that we be resilient and self-reliant.
Noctis Labyrinthus is a huge region of tectonically controlled valleys located at the western end of the Valles Marineris canyon system.
The Kariba dam is in a tectonically active area at the southern end of the African Rift Valley, and although there have been no major quakes or seismic disasters associated with the dam, Lake Kariba's construction, and subsequent filling in the 1960s, may have re-activated the intricate fault lines related to the Rift system in that area.
From the late-Early Jurassic the area became more tectonically active and formed a basin-and-platform topography, due to extensional tectonics as sociated with the expansion of the Tethys Ocean westwards (Vera, 2004).
Viewed from the highway, light brown Simsima Formation overlies palaeo-hills mainly composed of black Semail ophiolite (former oceanic crust / upper mantle) and Hawasina Group sediments which were tectonically emplaced by obduction during the Campanian (Late Cretaceous).
Given that the slump is continually active and moving, it might only take a jolt from an earthquake in the tectonically active state to set in motion this catastrophic chain of events.