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How do plate tectonics affect the Earth's surface?

Question:

How do plate tectonics affect the Earth's surface?

Plate tectonics:

Earth's lithosphere is not continuous but made up of several large pieces of rocks that keeps on floating on the upper mantle. These rock pieces called plates, being dynamic either converge towards each other or diverge away from each other or slip past against each other. Such movements of the plates are termed as plate tectonics.

Answer and Explanation:

Plate tectonics may lead to alteration of landforms. Such modification of the earth's crust occurs-

1) when the tectonic plates move towards each other at the convergent boundary and cause folding of landmass( forming mountains).

2) Also, when the plates move away from each other, crustal extension or spreading may take place.

3)The plates sliding past each other in opposite directions at the transform boundary can sometimes release stress in the form of seismic waves causing severe earthquakes. These earthquakes mostly cause damage to the crust along the faultlines.

4) Subduction may also occur when two plates collide with each other, this leads to the sinking of a plate into the mantle causing volcanoes and earthquakes.


Learn more about this topic:

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What is Plate Tectonics? - Definition, Theory & Components

from NYSTCE Earth Science (008): Practice and Study Guide

Chapter 24 / Lesson 2
10K

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