Ch 7: Plate Tectonics Theory

About This Chapter

Use the bite-sized lessons in this fun chapter to improve your understanding of plate tectonics theory as you study for an upcoming test. Mini quizzes and a practice exam can assess your comprehension and ensure you're ready for the day of the test.

Plate Tectonics Theory - Chapter Summary

Study the basics of plate tectonics theory without setting foot in a traditional classroom. Our online lessons make it easy to explore or refresh your knowledge of sea floor spreading, mid-ocean ridges and subduction from home or on-the-go. Once you've completed this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Define and list components of plate tectonics
  • Share the theory of and facts about sea floor spreading
  • Explain the relationship between polar reversal and sea floor spreading
  • Describe the formation of mid-ocean ridges
  • Detail the process of subduction
  • List different types of mountains and explain how they form
  • Discuss how the geological progression of a landscape is described through a landform diagram
  • Make calculations to describe the motion history of geological features

Feel confident in your ability to understand plate tectonics theory by studying this chapter your way. Access any number of lessons in your sequence of choice, and visit them as often as you'd like. If you develop questions about topics covered in the lessons, feel free to send them to our experts using the Dashboard. When ready, check your comprehension of plate tectonics theory by taking multiple-choice quizzes and a practice chapter exam.

7 Lessons in Chapter 7: Plate Tectonics Theory
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Plate Tectonics? - Definition, Theory & Components

1. 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.

Sea Floor Spreading: Definition, Theory & Facts

2. Sea Floor Spreading: Definition, Theory & Facts

The continents are on the move and sea floor spreading helps to explain how. Here you will learn what sea floor spreading is, how it works, where it is happening, and what led to its discovery.

Sea Floor Spreading and Polar Reversal

3. 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.

Mid-Ocean Ridge: Definition, Facts, Formation & Example

4. Mid-Ocean Ridge: Definition, Facts, Formation & Example

Mid-ocean ridges...on the surface, it sounds obvious what these might be, but there are complicated forces that create them. Here, you will learn what mid-ocean ridges are, where they are, how they are created, and what makes them fascinating geological formations.

Subduction: Definition & Process

5. Subduction: Definition & Process

Subduction is a geological term for one of Earth's tectonic plates sinking under another. When this happens, we can get earthquakes, volcanoes, and a recycling of Earth's rocks. Let's explore this more in this lesson.

The Processes of Mountain Building

6. The Processes of Mountain Building

In this video lesson, you will learn about the process of mountain building. You will identify different ways that mountains form, as well as the different types of mountains that result from this process.

How a Landform Diagram Describes the Geological Progression of a Landscape

7. How a Landform Diagram Describes the Geological Progression of a Landscape

This lesson describes what a landform diagram is. We'll also discuss some basic laws of geology that can help scientists deduce both the order of events that create a landform and the geologic events that occur after a landform's formation.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.