What are the major tectonic plates of the world?
Interactive map of tectonic plates from the US Geological Survey plate tectonic map reveals the plate names when you scroll over the plate. Scrolling over green button shows relative motions.
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Video lecture covers three basic types of tectonic plate boundaries.
How are the tectonic plates related to earthquakes and volcanoes?
Interactive relief and bathymetric map reveals tectonic plates, as well as world-wide earthquakes and volcanoes.
The subduction zone iswhere two tectonic (lithospheric) plates come together, one subducting (diving) beneath the other. The plates are locked together and periodically overcome the friction causing the leading edge of the overlying plate to surge back, lifting a wall of water producting a tsunami.
New oceanic crust is created at this boundary when basalt magma, formed in the mantle, rises into fractures in the crust and solidifies. Spreading ridges are high elevation because the young oceanic plate at the ridge crest is hot and less dense than the older, colder and more dense plate on the flanks of the ridge.