How are tectonic plates movements classified?

Question:

How are tectonic plates movements classified?

Tectonic Plate Movement:

Tectonic plates are huge masses of matter that can move; their huge forces inevitably cause changes to the shape of Earth. Tectonic plate movements are responsible for the formation of oceanic ridges, volcanoes and mountain ranges, and fault lines (which tend to be earthquake prone).

Answer and Explanation:

There are three types of plate movements, all based on the type of interaction between two plates.

  • Transform movement occurs when two plates are sliding side by side. An example of a transform boundary is the Dead Sea Transform, a fault line in the Middle East.
  • Convergent movement happens when two plates move toward each other, with one going under the other one. An example is the Eurasian Plate going below the Philippine Mobile Belt to form the Manila Trench.
  • Divergent movement occurs when two plates move apart from each other. A divergent boundary occurs at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge as the North and South American plates move away from the Eurasian and African plates.

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Causes of Tectonic Plate Movement

from CLEP Natural Sciences: Study Guide & Test Prep

Chapter 11 / Lesson 8
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