Meaning of Tectonic Plates

What are tectonic plates:

Plates are called tectonics solid rock plates that together form the lithosphere and that lie above the asthenosphere. These plates are under the Earth’s mantle.

The tectonic plates are one on top of the other and, although they are rigid, they move constantly, only their movements are usually very light and difficult to feel, but when their movement is strong, those natural phenomena known as earthquakes or tsunamis occur that are perceptible by living beings.

For this reason they are called tectonic plates, because the word “plate” refers to “layer” and the word “tectonic” which derives from the Greek tektonikosindicates “build, builder”.

Therefore, plate tectonics is a way of exposing the characteristics of the Earth’s surface on the planet, its changes and movements.

See also the meaning of Geography.

Types of tectonic plates

Tectonic plates

Tectonic plates are classified into two types: oceanic and mixed plates.

It is at the edges of these plates (the lithosphere) that mountain ranges and basins are formed, and it is at those edges that the terrestrial forces of tectonic, seismic, and volcanic activity are also concentrated.

oceanic plates

oceanic plates are the densest and most extensiveTherefore, they occupy most of the planetary territory.

these plates are covered by oceanic crust (the thinnest and outer layer of the geosphere) and are almost entirely submerged under water. They are characterized by being very active in their movements.

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These plates are: the African plate, the Pacific plate, the South American plate, the Eurasian plate, the Indo-Australian plate, the North American plate, and the Antarctic plate.

mixed plates

Mixed plates are those that They occupy both continental and oceanic spaces. They are more numerous in number, but they are also smaller plates compared to oceanic plates.

Among these plates are the Caribbean plate, the Nazca plate, the Arab plate, the Scottish plate, among many others.

movements of tectonic plates

The movement of the tectonic plates is very important, depending on this is that the types of plates are determined.

divergent motion: They are the movements that separate the plates and that generate the faults (they are long holes in the earth) or chains of underwater mountains.

converging movement: It is the movement that involves the union of the plates, the thinnest plate sinks on the thickest plate, generating the mountain ranges that can be seen in various areas.

Sliding or transforming movement: It is the movement of the tectonic plates, but in opposite directions. These movements can also generate failures.

See also the meaning of Mountain, Earthquake and Tsunami.