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Monday, 27 June 2016

Tectonic Plates ESSAY

From the deepest ocean trench the Marianas Trench to the tallest mountain Everest, the Tectonic Plates explains the features and movement of Earth's surface in the present and the past. Have you ever wondered how the earth has formed into what we have today? Or have you wondered why the alpine fault or the San Andreas Fault are big earthquake areas and what are the biggest earthquakes in the area Well we blame earthquakes and the earthquakes blame the Tectonic Plates. I am here to tell you what and how the tectonic plates have formed our world as we know it.

The word Tectonic has nothing to do with the history of the plates Tectonic just means “relating to the structure of the earth's crust and the large-scale processes which take place within it.” (GOOGLE) It all started when a meteorologist in 1912 by the name of Alfred Wegener described what he called continental drift, it expanded in his 1915 book. The Origin of Continents and Oceans  Before plate tectonics, people had to come up with explanations of the weird features in their region that were unique to that particular region," after that the scientific debate started and that would end up fifty years later in the theory of plate tectonics.

Now what are the Tectonic plates you ask. Well a tectonic plate (also called lithospheric plate, Continental Plates or Continental borders) is a massive, irregularly shaped slab of solid rock, generally composed of both continental and oceanic lithosphere (the crust and upper mantle). A plate size can vary, from a few hundred to thousands or even millions of kilometers across!; Fun Fact the Pacific and Antarctic Plates are  among the largest and the Burma and the New Hebrides Plate are around the smallest plates. Those plates are millions of kilometers squared plates smaller than that are referred to microplates. Those plates are in the major plates. The smallest Microplate is the Juan de Fuca Plate at only 250,000 km squared!
 How Do they work?
What are their importance?      
Plates at our planet's surface move because of the intense heat in the Earth's core that causes molten rock in the mantle layer to move. It moves in a pattern called a convection cell that forms when warm material rises, cools, and eventually sink down into the earth.

The tectonic plates have a very very major place in earth's movement. They cause movement in the earth's core and they play an important role in geologic happenings. The movement of these plates atop a thick, fluid. "mantle" is known as plate tectonics and is the source of earthquakes and volcanoes. Plates crash together to make earthquakes, tsunamis and mountain ranges,such as the Himalayas. They leave trenches where one slips beneath the other. They make giant rift valleys and ridges when going their separate ways. The process is actually very important to life on Earth several billion years ago, the surface of our Earth began forming into puzzle pieces called plates. This process trapped our atmospheric carbon dioxide into rocks and stabilised our climate, making Earth habitable.

San Andreas Fault Line
This Infamous Fault line is a continental transform fault that extends roughly 800 miles through California. It forms the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate, and its motion is right-lateral strike-slip. The fault was first identified in 1895 by Professor Andrew Lawson of UC Berkeley, who discovered the northern zone. It is often described as having been named after San Andreas Lake, a small body of water that was formed in a valley between the two plates. However, according to some of his reports from 1895 and 1908, Lawson actually named it after the surrounding San Andreas Valley. Following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Lawson concluded that the fault extended all the way into southern California. Every time the Pacific and North American plates rub an earthquake happens across the fault line       

In Conclusion the tectonic plates a fascinating puzzle pieces that make up the world. The world would not be the same if the precise locations of the plates were in different location. Now if you had a question about the tectonic plates was it answered? Do you still blame earthquakes for the millions of lost lives from earthquakes. Now i’m going to leave you with a question. If tectonics plates were not discovered would your life be different? Think about it.             

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