What does plate tectonics mean?

Definitions for plate tectonics
plate tec·ton·ics

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word plate tectonics.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. tectonics, plate tectonics, plate tectonic theorynoun

    the branch of geology studying the folding and faulting of the earth's crust

GCIDE

  1. plate tectonicsnoun

    A geological theory which holds that the crust of the earth (the lithosphere) is divided into a small number of large separate plates which float and move slowly around on the more plastic asthenosphere, breaking apart and moving away from each other at points where magma upwells from below, and, driven by such upwellings and other currents on the athenosphere, sliding past each other, colliding with each other, and in some cases being submerged (subducted) one below the other. This theory is now widely accepted, and explains many geological phenomena such as the clustered locations of earthquakes, mountain building, volcanism, and the similarities observed between the geology of continents, such as South America and Africa which are now far apart, but, according to the theory, were once joined together. The motions of such tectonic plates are very slow, typically only several centimeters per year, but over tens and hundreds of millions of years, cause very large changes in the relative positions of the continents. The consequence of such movement of plates is called continental drift.

Wiktionary

  1. plate tectonicsnoun

    The large-scale movement of tectonic plates that contributes to continental drift.

Wikipedia

  1. Plate tectonics

    Plate tectonics (from the Late Latin: tectonicus, from the Ancient Greek: τεκτονικός, lit. 'pertaining to building') is the generally accepted scientific theory that considers the Earth's lithosphere to comprise a number of large tectonic plates which have been slowly moving since about 3.4 billion years ago. The model builds on the concept of continental drift, an idea developed during the first decades of the 20th century. Plate tectonics came to be generally accepted by geoscientists after seafloor spreading was validated in the mid to late 1960s. Earth's lithosphere, which is the rigid outermost shell of the planet (the crust and upper mantle), is broken into seven or eight major plates (depending on how they are defined) and many minor plates or "platelets". Where the plates meet, their relative motion determines the type of plate boundary: convergent, divergent, or transform. Earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain-building, and oceanic trench formation occur along these plate boundaries (or faults). The relative movement of the plates typically ranges from zero to 10 cm annually.Tectonic plates are composed of the oceanic lithosphere and the thicker continental lithosphere, each topped by its own kind of crust. Along convergent boundaries, the process of subduction, or one plate moving under another, carries the edge of the lower one down into the mantle; the area of material lost is balanced by the formation of new (oceanic) crust along divergent margins by seafloor spreading. In this way, the total geoid surface area of the lithosphere remains constant. This prediction of plate tectonics is also referred to as the conveyor belt principle. Earlier theories, since disproven, proposed gradual shrinking (contraction) or gradual expansion of the globe. Tectonic plates are able to move because Earth's lithosphere has greater mechanical strength than the underlying asthenosphere. Lateral density variations in the mantle result in convection; that is, the slow creeping motion of Earth's solid mantle. Plate movement is thought to be driven by a combination of the motion of the seafloor away from spreading ridges due to variations in topography (the ridge is a topographic high) and density changes in the crust (density increases as newly-formed crust cools and moves away from the ridge). At subduction zones the relatively cold, dense oceanic crust sinks down into the mantle over the downward convecting limb of a mantle cell. The relative importance of each of these factors and their relationship to each other is unclear, and still the subject of much debate.

ChatGPT

  1. plate tectonics

    Plate tectonics is a scientific theory explaining the structure of the Earth's lithosphere (the outermost shell), which is broken into large pieces, or plates, that move and interact in various ways at their boundaries, causing seismic activity including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. These moving plates are responsible for the creation of mountains, oceanic trenches and other geological features. The movement is caused by the heat from the Earth's core.

Wikidata

  1. Plate tectonics

    Plate tectonics is a scientific theory that describes the large-scale motions of Earth's lithosphere. The model builds on the concepts of continental drift, developed during the first few decades of the 20th century. The geoscientific community accepted the theory after the concepts of seafloor spreading were developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The lithosphere is broken up into tectonic plates. On Earth, there are seven or eight major plates and many minor plates. Where plates meet, their relative motion determines the type of boundary: convergent, divergent, or transform. Earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain-building, and oceanic trench formation occur along these plate boundaries. The lateral relative movement of the plates typically varies from zero to 100 mm annually. Tectonic plates are composed of oceanic lithosphere and thicker continental lithosphere, each topped by its own kind of crust. Along convergent boundaries, subduction carries plates into the mantle; the material lost is roughly balanced by the formation of new crust along divergent margins by seafloor spreading. In this way, the total surface of the globe remains the same. This prediction of plate tectonics is also referred to as the conveyor belt principle. Earlier theories proposed gradual shrinking or gradual expansion of the globe.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce plate tectonics?

How to say plate tectonics in sign language?

Numerology

  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of plate tectonics in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of plate tectonics in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of plate tectonics in a Sentence

  1. Mysteries Coltice:

    Convection models were good for the mantle, but not plates, and plate tectonics was good for plates but not the mantle, and the whole story behind the evolution of the system is the feedback between the two.


Translations for plate tectonics

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for plate tectonics »

Translation

Find a translation for the plate tectonics definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Citation

Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"plate tectonics." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 26 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/plate+tectonics>.

Discuss these plate tectonics definitions with the community:

0 Comments

    Are we missing a good definition for plate tectonics? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of

    plate tectonics

    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net

    Quiz

    Are you a words master?

    »
    dark brown mustelid of woodlands of Eurasia that gives off an unpleasant odor when threatened
    A rung
    B instigation
    C viverrine
    D foumart

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for plate tectonics: