Copyright

What happens to the Earth at a divergent boundary?

Question:

What happens to the Earth at a divergent boundary?

What are tectonic plates

Tectonic plates make up a portion of the Earths crust that is called the lithosphere. The defining characteristic of the lithosphere is it's elasticity, or ability to shift and move. The mobility of these tectonic plates is responsible for the shifting and changes that took place on earth millions of years ago including the separation and formation of the continents. This theory of continental drift only became widely accepted in the last 60 years, after new instrumentation allowed for mapping of the sea floor. There are seven major tectonic plates on Earth: the African plate, Antarctic plate, Australian plate, North American plate, Pacific plate, South American plate, and Eurasian plate. In addition to these large plates there are smaller secondary and tertiary plates; and, all of these plates combined make up the roughly one hundred total plates found on Earth.

Answer and Explanation:

Divergent boundaries describe an area that exists between two separating tectonic plates; usually these boundaries are found beneath the ocean. Within this area the Earths crust is split open by underlying convection energy and magma can flow up filling the gap and sometimes even creating volcanic islands; the country of Iceland is a prime example of this. Divergent boundaries can also result in fault lines where earthquakes will frequently occur.


Learn more about this topic:

Loading...
Plate Tectonics: Theory & Definition

from General Studies Earth & Space Science: Help & Review

Chapter 7 / Lesson 5
47K

Related to this Question

Explore our homework questions and answers library