What are tectonic plates simple definition?
A tectonic plate (also called lithospheric plate) is a massive, irregularly shaped slab of solid rock, generally composed of both continental and oceanic lithosphere. The variations in plate thickness are nature’s way of partly compensating for the imbalance in the weight and density of the two types of crust.
Why do technical plates move?
Tectonic plates are able to move because Earth’s lithosphere has greater mechanical strength than the underlying asthenosphere. Lateral density variations in the mantle result in convection; that is, the slow creeping motion of Earth’s solid mantle.
What is a tectonic plate definition for kids?
Tectonic plates are broken pieces made of the Earth’s crust or lithosphere. Another name for them is crustal plates. Continental crust is less dense, and oceanic crust is denser. These rigid plates can move in different directions, shifting constantly.
What are technique plates?
Technique plates are full-size plates that are made of a hard, recycled plastic rather than rubber, and they are practically indestructible.
What is the meaning of plate tectonics?
Definition of plate tectonics 1 : a theory in geology: the lithosphere of the earth is divided into a small number of plates which float on and travel independently over the mantle and much of the earth’s seismic activity occurs at the boundaries of these plates
How did the theory of plate tectonics revolutionize science?
Plate tectonics, theory dealing with the dynamics of Earth’s outer shell—the lithosphere—that revolutionized Earth sciences by providing a uniform context for understanding mountain-building processes, volcanoes, and earthquakes as well as the evolution of Earth’s surface and reconstructing its past continents and oceans.
How big is the thickness of a tectonic plate?
Plate thickness also varies greatly, ranging from less than 15 km for young oceanic lithosphere to about 200 km or more for ancient continental lithosphere (for example, the interior parts of North and South America). How do these massive slabs of solid rock float despite their tremendous weight? The answer lies in the composition of the rocks.
What are the three types of tectonic plates?
There are three types of tectonic plates : 1.constructive 2.destructive 3.conservative