Tectonic Plate Boundaries By: Bailey Gallagher

What are Tectonic Plates? A tectonic plate (also called lithospheric plate) is a massive, irregularly shaped slab of solid rock, generally composed of both continental and oceanic lithosphere. Plate size can vary greatly, from a few hundred to thousands of kilometers across; the Pacific and Antarctic Plates are among the largest.

Divergent Plate Boundaries

How do divergent plate boundaries move? Divergent boundaries occur along spreading centers where plates are moving apart and new crust is created by magma pushing up from the mantle. Picture two giant conveyor belts, facing each other but slowly moving in opposite directions as they transport newly formed oceanic crust away from the ridge crest.Tensional stress happens at divergent plate boundaries where two plates are moving away from each other. Shear stress is experienced at transform boundaries where two plates are sliding past each other.

Divergent boundaries in the middle of the ocean contribute to seafloor spreading. As Plates made of oceanic crust pull apart, a crack in the ocean floor appears. Magma then oozes up from the mantle to fill in the space between the plates, forming a raised ridge called a mid-ocean ridge.

Convergent Plate Boundaries

How do convergent plate boundaries move?In plate tectonics, a convergent boundary, also known as a destructive plate boundary (because of subduction), is an actively deforming region where two (or more) tectonic plates or fragments of the lithosphere move toward one another and collide.Compressive stress happens at convergent plate boundaries where two plates move toward each other. Tensional stress happens at divergent plate boundaries where two plates are moving away from each other. Shear stress is experienced at transform boundaries where two plates are gliding past each other.

If two tectonic plates collide, they form a convergent plate boundary. Usually, one of the converging plates will move beneath the other, which is known as subduction. Deep trenches are often formed where tectonic plates are being subducted and earthquakes are common.

Transform Plate Boundaries

Transform boundaries are places where plates slide sideways past each other. At transform boundaries lithosphere is neither created nor destroyed. Many Transform boundaries are found on the seafloor, where they connect segments of diverging mid-ocean ridges. California's San Andreas fault is a transform boundary. Compressive stress happens at convergent plate boundaries where two plates move toward each other. Tensional stress happens at divergent plate boundaries where two plates are moving away from each other. Shear stress is experienced at transform boundaries where two plates are sliding past each other

Transform Plate Boundaries are locations where two plates slide past one another. The fracture zone that forms a transform plate boundary is known as a transform fault. Most transform faults are found in the ocean basin and connect offsets in the mid-ocean ridges

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