Tectonic (lithospheric) Plates: Commonly confused with crust

What are the tectonic (lithospheric) plates? What is the crust?

Video lecture on four basic types of plate tectonic boundaries: divergent (spreading), transform (strike-slip), and convergent (subduction and continental collision) types of plate boundaries. Clarifies what the tectonic, or lithospheric plates are. Lithospheric plates have two parts consisting of crust and upper mantle. This was recorded at a workshop for middle-school Earth-science teachers in 2006 by Dr. Robert Butler


  • Tectonic plate is the cold, brittle upper layer of the Earth.
  • Has two parts: (1) crust and (2) cold, brittle upper part of the upper mantle.
  • Two varieties of crust: continental and oceanic

Total Time: 1min 55s
Level: Novice

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