About This Chapter
Plate Tectonics, Continental Drift & Ocean Formations - Chapter Summary
If it has been some time since you learned about plate tectonics or the theory of continental drift, look no further than this chapter's video lessons. Our instructors break down these concepts and also guide you through the formation of the oceans, types of plate boundaries and the earth's lithosphere. Study all the lessons in this chapter and you should be able to:
- Explain the Pangaea theory
- Discuss the theory of and evidence for continental drift
- Describe the structure of Earth's lithosphere
- Identify the causes of tectonic plate movement
- List and describe the types of plate boundaries
- Recognize the link between sea floor spreading and polar reversal
- Discuss the types and features of ocean basins
- Understand the oceanic ridge system
Our videos are viewable on mobile devices and are usually under 10 minutes long. The videos also have convenient timeline tags so you can jump around to rewatch major points. If you retain terms or concepts better by reading about them, check out our lesson transcripts that also include key vocabulary in bold print. We offer self-assessment quizzes as well so you can gauge your understanding of the chapter.
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
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.
8. Ocean Basins: Definition, Formation, Features & Types
Ocean basins are those areas found under the sea. They can be relatively inactive areas where deposits of sediment slowly collect or active areas where tectonic plates meet. Learn how ocean basins form and about features such as oceanic ridges and trenches.
9. Oceanic Ridge System: Formation & Distribution
The oceanic ridge system is a continuous underwater mountain range with parts found in every ocean of the world. The ridge system is created when magma rising between diverging plates of the lithosphere cools and forms a new layer of crust.
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Other chapters within the AEPA Earth Science (AZ045): Practice & Study Guide course
- Development of Earth & Space Science
- Nature of Scientific Inquiry
- Scientific Data & Calculations
- Maps & Spatial Concepts
- Space Science Technology
- Laboratory Safety & Procedures
- Earth's Formation & Structure
- Time & Dating in Geology
- Weathering, Erosion & Deposition
- Physical & Chemical Properties of Earth's Minerals
- Rocks & Minerals
- Understanding Earthquakes
- Biogeochemical Cycles
- Earth's Hydrologic Cycle
- Earth's Fresh Water
- Atmospheric Structure & Energy Transfer
- The Ozone Layer, Climate Change & Air Pollution
- Season & Climate Classifications
- Earth's Climate System: Wind, Air Masses & El Nino
- Weather Conditions & Severe Weather Phenomena
- Weather Forecasting and Analysis
- Characteristics of Ocean Water, Currents & Waves
- The Earth & the Moon
- The Sun's Structure, Energy & Life Cycle
- Celestial Orbit Characteristics
- Solar Radiation, Energy & Electromagnetic Waves
- Formation of the Solar System
- Celestial Bodies of the Solar System
- Kepler & Newton's Laws of Motion
- Star Types and Significance
- Characteristics of Stars
- Structure of the Milky Way Galaxy
- The Universe: Key Concepts & Theories
- AEPA Earth Science Flashcards