Ch 50: General Science: Plate Tectonics

About This Chapter

Get set for the AEPA General Science examination for teacher certification by studying this chapter on plate tectonics. Watch several video lessons and take the accompanying quizzes that will expand and test your comprehension.

AEPA General Science: Plate Tectonics - Chapter Summary

This chapter will teach you more about the theory of plate tectonics and the motion of the Earth's lithosphere. View the online videos in order to refresh your memory of the theory of continental drift and to delve further into the causes of earthquakes, sea floor spreading and tectonic plate movement. Before you sit for the AEPA General Science examination, check out this chapter for assistance with:

  • Defining Pangaea
  • Understanding the factors that contribute to volcanoes and earthquakes
  • Expanding your knowledge of plate tectonics and Alfred Wegener's theory
  • Discussing evidence for the theory of continental drift
  • Identifying the Earth's major tectonic plates as well as three kinds of plate boundaries
  • Learning more about the effects of ocean drilling, hot spots and paleomagnetism
  • Discussing polar reversal
  • Contrasting different kinds of volcanoes
  • Exploring the use of seismic activity to understand earthquakes

Use this chapter to prepare for similar questions on the AEPA General Science examination. You'll learn from experienced teachers and narrators throughout your review process. These short video lessons are designed to deliver information so that it is easily absorbed. Access them online 24/7 via your mobile technology. You can use video tags to go between the lessons, or you can pause and re-watch various scenes. In addition to the written transcripts and printable worksheets, the chapter includes multiple-choice quizzes that follow each lesson.

15 Lessons in Chapter 50: General Science: Plate Tectonics
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Pangaea? - Theory & Definition

1. What is Pangaea? - Theory & Definition

The continents you know have existed for a long time, but not in their current locations. In fact, over 200 million years ago Pangaea broke apart by plate tectonic movement to form the continents we see today.

Plate Tectonics: A Unified Theory for Change of the Earth's Surface

2. Plate Tectonics: A Unified Theory for Change of the Earth's Surface

After many years of trying to solve the mystery of the moving continents, enough data and evidence was collected to develop a unifying theory of how the surface of the earth changes. It's called plate tectonics.

Alfred Wegener's Theory of Continental Drift

3. Alfred Wegener's Theory of Continental Drift

People used to think that Earth was static, and that it never changed. Gradually, a body of evidence was gathered that made no sense in this model. Alfred Wegener, Geologic Supersleuth, laid the groundwork for a whole new theory for the large-scale changing nature of the earth.

Evidence for the Mechanism of Continental Drift

4. Evidence for the Mechanism of Continental Drift

As scientists began to explore the ocean floor after World War II, they discovered many new clues to help them solve a mystery that had begun decades earlier - how the continents moved about on the surface of the earth.

Major Plates of the Lithosphere: Earth's Tectonic Plates

5. Major Plates of the Lithosphere: Earth's Tectonic Plates

The outer shell of the earth, the lithosphere, is broken up into tectonic plates. The seven major plates are the African plate, Antarctic plate, Eurasian plate, Indo-Australian plate, North American plate, Pacific plate and South American plate.

Causes of Tectonic Plate Movement

6. Causes of Tectonic Plate Movement

In this lesson, we explore the causes of plate movement, including thermal convection, ridge push and slab pull. Students will learn how these processes complement each other and form a theory for tectonic plate movement.

Plate Boundaries: Convergent, Divergent, and Transform Boundaries

7. Plate Boundaries: Convergent, Divergent, and Transform Boundaries

In the theory of plate tectonics, the earth's crust is broken into plates that move around relative to each other. As a result of this movement, three types of plate boundaries are formed: divergent, convergent, and transform boundaries.

Ocean Drilling as Evidence for Plate Tectonics

8. Ocean Drilling as Evidence for Plate Tectonics

The Deep Sea Drilling Project extracted samples of the ocean floor that provided evidence to support the hypothesis of seafloor spreading and the theory of plate tectonics. Learn how these samples provided proof.

Paleomagnetism and Hot Spots: Evidence for Plate Tectonics

9. Paleomagnetism and Hot Spots: Evidence for Plate Tectonics

Paleomagnetism is the study of past magnetic fields. Hot spots are fixed pockets of heat that well up to form volcanic features. Learn how paleomagnetism and the study of hot spots provide evidence that supports the theory of plate tectonics.

Sea Floor Spreading and Polar Reversal

10. Sea Floor Spreading and Polar Reversal

Sea floor spreading is the process by which new oceanic crust is formed by the upwelling of magma through diverging tectonic plates. Learn about the relationship between sea floor spreading and polar reversals detected on the ocean floor.

What is a Volcano? - Definition & Eruptions

11. What is a Volcano? - Definition & Eruptions

Volcanoes are vents that allow lava, rock fragments and gases to escape from layers beneath the earth's surface. Learn how volcanoes form both on land and underwater and why they erupt.

Types of Volcanoes: Shield, Cinder Cones & Composite Cones

12. Types of Volcanoes: Shield, Cinder Cones & Composite Cones

The earth ejects lava, rock fragments, hot vapor and gases during volcanic eruptions. Volcanoes vary based on size, shape, composition and eruptive style. Learn about the different types of volcanoes, such as shield, cinder cone and composite cone.

What is an Earthquake? - Definition and Components

13. What is an Earthquake? - Definition and Components

Earthquakes are well known for the damage and destruction they leave behind. But what is an earthquake? In this video lesson you will learn about what causes earthquakes and the various components involved in these powerful natural disasters.

The Causes of Earthquakes

14. The Causes of Earthquakes

In this video lesson you will learn what causes earthquakes and where they occur. You will also understand the theory of elastic rebound, and how this relates to movement of the earth's crust.

Identifying and Understanding Earthquakes Using Seismic Activity

15. Identifying and Understanding Earthquakes Using Seismic Activity

Scientists can learn a lot about earthquakes by studying how they move ground. Using seismic activity, we can learn where an earthquake originated as well as how strong it was. In this video lesson, you will learn about seismic activity and how it relates to our understanding of earthquakes.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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