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Ch 25: Earth's Tectonic Plates

About This Chapter

Let our lessons and quizzes aid in your review of plate tectonics. Get facts on Pangaea and explore evidence supporting the theory of continental drift, including ocean drilling and hot spots.

Earth's Tectonic Plates - Chapter Summary

Use these lessons to get information on theories about plate tectonics and continental drift. Examine the Earth's tectonic plates. Look at theories and evidence for plate tectonics, including paleomagnetism and ocean drilling. Learn about sea floor spreading. After watching these lessons, you should know about:

  • Definition and theory of Pangaea
  • Plate tectonics theory
  • Evidence for continental drift
  • Major plates of the lithosphere
  • How ocean drilling provides evidence for plate tectonics theory
  • Ways that hot spots and paleomagnetism offer evidence for plate tectonics theory
  • Relationship between sea floor spreading and polar reversal

You can watch these lessons at your own pace, on a computer or mobile device, whenever you have a few extra minutes. The quizzes that accompany each lesson let you gauge your knowledge and see where additional study is needed. Embedding video tags in the lesson's timeline makes it easy to return to particular passages that require additional review.

7 Lessons in Chapter 25: Earth's Tectonic Plates
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.

What is Plate Tectonics? - Definition, Theory & Components

2. What is Plate Tectonics? - Definition, Theory & Components

Imagine ice floating in a glass. Would you believe that we are all living on giant pieces of floating rock, just like the ice in that glass? This lesson explains that theory, an idea known as plate tectonics.

Theory and Evidence of Continental Drift

3. Theory and Evidence of Continental Drift

If you've ever flown to Europe, you know that it's a long flight. However, if the theory of continental drift has anything to say about it, that flight is only going to get longer. That's right - we are drifting away from Europe!

Major Plates of the Lithosphere: Earth's Tectonic Plates

4. 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.

Ocean Drilling as Evidence for Plate Tectonics

5. 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

6. 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

7. 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.

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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