Types of Plate Boundaries
There are 3 types of plate boundaries and a fourth called a “plate boundary zone” inwhich the type of plate boundary is not clearly defined. Go to the website: http://pubs.usgs.gov/publications/text/understanding.htmland learn about the three types of plate boundaries and answer the questions below.
- What are the three types of plate boundaries?
- What directions do the plates move relative to one another in a divergent plateboundary?
- What is a spreading center and what is made at one?
- Name one spreading center (or divergent plate boundary).
- What are the three types of convergent plate boundaries?
- What two kinds of crust are involved in a subduction zone?
- What type of convergent boundary is the Himalaya Mountains formed by?
- What happens along a transform plate boundary?
- Name a famous transform fault in western North America.
- Which plates are sliding past each other along the San Andreas Fault?
Plate Boundary Interactions
Now go to the website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/tryit/tectonics/#and click on “Godirectly to Plate Tectonics Activity”
- Drag each of the arrows in the activity to see the plate interactions. List from left toright each type of plate boundary shown in the activity.
Now, go to http://emvc.geol.ucsb.edu/forteachers/SeafloorSpreading.htmand scroll downto the “Seafloor Spreading” picture and click on the picture. Wait a few seconds for it toload, and there should be a movie.
- What is happening to the plates at the red line in the center of the screen?
- What is the red line?
Now, go to http://emvc.geol.ucsb.edu/forteachers/convergence.htm and click on thepicture labeled “Subduction”. Wait for it to load, and there should be another movie.
- What two kinds of convergence are shown in the movie?
Plate Tectonic Maps
Now go to http://denali.gsfc.nasa.gov/research/lowman/Lowman_map1_lg.jpgand youwill see a plate tectonic map of the world. Rest the mouse on the bottom right corner ofthe map and after a couple of seconds an enlargement icon should appear. Click on thisicon to see the map in full size. Now you can use the scroll bars on the side and bottomto maneuver around the map.
- Using the key at the bottom of the map, what is happening in Idaho, tectonicallyspeaking?
- Scroll over to Asia and locate the Java Trench. This is where the Indian Plate andEurasian Plate interact. What kind of plate interaction occurs here, that was responsiblefor the December 26, 2004 tsunami?
- How does the plate boundary along the Pacific Northwest of the United States change overtime?
Wait for themovie to download. This is a movie showing how the plates looked around 150 millionyears ago, when all the continents were together forming the “supercontinent” Pangea,and how the plates moved through time to their present configuration.
- What continents did North America used to be attached to during Pangea time?
Now, go to the website: http://pubs.usgs.gov/publications/text/hotspots.htmlto read andlearn about hot spots.