Science 19

The Earth and oceanic crusts are made up of several tectonic plates, masses of solid matter that sit atop the liquid mantle of Earth. The plates are constantly moving, evidence of which can be seen in the topography of Earth’s surface, the topography of the oceanic crustal surface, and by the frequent occurrence of Earthquakes near fault lines (plate boundaries).

Plates are said to by convergent if they are moving towards one another. The eventual meeting of convergent plates causes uprisings, often in the form of mountains. Divergent Plates are moving away from one another and have caused the gradual shift in continental placement, as well as numerous basins and trenches.

Figure 1 shows a diagram of an oceanic and continental plate. The arrows represent the direction of plate movement.

Figure 2 shows a close-up section of the continental crust from Figure 1, sampled near the fault line.