Plate motion

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Wbf1994

Science

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Follow the instructions in the file I uploaded. You need to print out the image on the last page of the document, then mark it up and answer some questions as required.

That's what the professor said

The assignment this week is an easy one. You will just be looking at a figure of plates and answering a few questions about types of plate boundaries. It does mean that you have to understand how the edges of the tectonic plates interact. If you search for the answers on the internet you may run into differences in the names of the plates that are used. I have tried to just use the names of the major and minor plates to keep things simple. There are a lot of “micro-plates” and fragments of plates, each with their own name. Try to stick with the ones I used on the figure.

Throughout the course I will try to be constant with the terminology but will probably slip up sometimes. You may find some different terms on the internet as well.

Convergent boundary –

this may also be called a subduction zone, (subduction zone actually means a specific region of the boundary but for our purposes it will be OK)
you may also see this called a destructive boundary

Divergent boundary-

A mid-ocean ridge is a divergent boundary that is in the ocean. May also be called a rift, normally this is what a divergent boundary on land is called.
You may also see this called a conservative margin

Transform boundary –

This is not interchangeable with strike-slip fault – a fault is a fracture where there is movement. A boundary is where the edges of two (or more) plates meet.

Anyway make sure you are clear on the terms.


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Geology 1203 Earth history Assignment- plate motion One of the great advances of the twentieth century for geologists was the formation of the theory of plate tectonics. We now know that the Earth is made up of many rigid plates, composed of the crust and upper mantle, called the lithosphere. These lithospheric plates float on the underlying less ridged layer of rock called the asthenosphere. This rigid outer layer of the Earth is divided into seven major and a number of smaller tectonic plates. There are also some very small “microplates” as well as areas that are very complex structurally and in some cases still not well understood. These plates all in motion (albeit very slowly) and where they contact each other along the edges zones of deformation and seismic activity as a result of this motion. The boundaries between the plates can be divided into three basic types: Divergent – the direction of relative plate motion is away from the boundary. Basaltic lava flows upwards from the mantle to the surface where it cools and solidifies. These types of boundaries are most often found in oceans, where the lava forms new ocean crust, and so will be often called mid-ocean ridges (MOR). But divergent-type boundaries have also formed in continents where the early stages are rifts systems – regions marked by deep valleys and volcanic activity. The predominant force at work along divergent boundaries is tension – pulling apart. Convergent – the direction of relative plate movement is toward the boundary. Usually one plate is forced under the other (subducted) where it is eventually absorbed into the mantle. This region is usually, but not always, marked a deep trench that parallels the boundary, and so are often referred to as a subduction zone. A subduction zone marks the location of a convergent-type boundary but not all convergent boundaries will have a subduction zone. The predominant force at these plate boundaries is compression – pushing together. There are three different types of convergent boundaries based upon the types of crust that collide. Ocean crust collides with continental crust – the ocean is denser and so is subducted. Ocean crust collides with ocean crust – the older, colder crust is subducted. Continental crust collides with continental crust – because both are considerably less dense than the mantle this results in deformation, uplift and mountain building. Conservative – the direction is parallel to the plate boundary where the two plates slide past each other. They are marked by long transform faults and they are often referred to as transform boundaries. Because the Earth has remained the same size any new crust that is created at divergent boundaries must be balanced by the same amount of old crust being destroyed at convergent margins. Note: When I use the term “crust” I am referring to the lithosphere that is composed of the crust and upper mantle - it is just easy for people to grasp plate boundaries if they think in terms of ocean and continental crust. OCEANIC CRUST LITHOSPHERE MAGMA ASTHENOSPHERE OCEANIC CRUST TRENCH LITHOSPHERE VOLCANIC ISLAND ARC MAGMA ASTHENOSPHERE transformboundary What do I have to do? Print the map figure of plate boundaries on the last page and use it to answer the following questions. I have included a colour version with brief explanation of the symbols used to identify the boundaries on this figure. You will be required to submit a photo of your annotated map figure with your assignment answers. You should use coloured pen or pencils to mark on the figure so that it will show up. Take some care when drawing the arrows on your figure - if they are in the wrong location, indicate the wrong direction, or are just too messy I will mark them wrong. Do not use the internet to try to look up the answers!. All answers will be based up on the plates as identified in this assignment. Refer to the figures on plate boundaries in this module and/or figure 1.16 on pages 18 -19 of your textbook. Questions: Mid-Atlantic Ridge Locate the Mid-Atlantic Ridge on the map. [it will extend from north of the figure and end on the east side] Draw a red line along this boundary. Add arrows on either side to indicate the direction the direction of plate motion. 1.If you have drawn you line correctly there will be 4 major plates bounded by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. What are their names? 2. If you were standing at Point A in which direction would someone at Point B be moving? Towards you Away from you Parallel to you South America Locate the west coast of South America on the map. 3. What type of boundary do you think runs just along the coast? Draw arrows on either side of the boundary to indicate the direction of plate movement. 4. If you were standing at Point C in which direction would someone at Point D be moving? Towards you Away from you Parallel to you East Pacific Rise The East Pacific Rise is a long divergent boundary. [it extends from near Antarctica to southern California] Locate it on the map; mark it with a red line. Now draw arrows on either side of the boundary to indicate the direction of plate movement. 5. If you have drawn your line correctly there should be 5 plates that have a boundary on the East Pacific Rise. What are their names? China Locate China on the map figure. This region is subject to frequent and often devastating earthquakes. 6. What two plates do you think are responsible for these earthquakes? Outline this boundary and draw arrows on either side to indicate the direction of plate movement. 7. What type of boundary is it? 8. If you were standing at Point E in which direction would someone at Point F be moving? Towards you Away from you Parallel to you California Next locate the state of California, on the West coast of North America. 9. What two plates are in contact here? Outline this boundary and draw arrows on either side to indicate the direction of plate movement. 10. If you were standing at Point G in which direction would someone at Point H be moving? Towards you Away from you Parallel to you British Columbia Located the province of British Columbia, on the west coast of North America. This area experiences an earthquake almost every day; most are never noticed. However, in recent years this area has experienced several larger earthquakes that have been noticed. 11. Looking at the map of plate boundaries what 2 plates do you think are responsible? Outline this boundary and draw arrows on either side to indicate the direction of plate movement. 12. What type of boundary is this? 13. If you were standing at Point I in which direction would someone at Point J be moving? Towards you Away from you Parallel to you 0 60o 30o o o Afr 0o ica 30o 60o 0 45 o o 90 o 90 o IndianAustralian plate Arabian plate Eurasian plate 45 np late convergent or subduction boundary The triangles indicate the direction of the plate being subducted. n this example the pinkish plate is being forced under the other plate. The black arrows indicate the direction of movement relative to the plate boundary. 135o 135o 180 o 135o Antarctic plate 135o 90 o 90 o Nazca plate North American plate Juan de Fuca plate o Philippine plate Cocos plate Pacific plate 180 divergent and transform boundaries The black arrows indicate the direction of movement of the two plates along the divergent boundary. The red arrows show the relative movement along the transform boundary. 45 o Caribean plate South American plate o Scotia plate 45 0 o o 0 unknown type of boundary In some regions the exact nature of the boundary is not clear. What do I submit? Print the next page with the map figure. Annotate it as instructed in the question section. Make sure the arrows are neat and correctly placed. Do not forget to include your name and student number. Upload a picture of your annotated map figure -if the map is missing you will be given only half the value for any questions you get correct. You must also submit the answers to the questions - this can simply be the question number followed by your answer. But do not mix them up - I will mark them in the order they are numbered above and if you have the wrong answer with the wrong number it will be considered wrong. If you want to be sure then you can repeat the question with the number. Do not scribble the answers to the questions on this sheet. When indicating a direction of movement for a plate boundary the arrows should show the main direction the plate is moving at that point. divergent convergent conservative 0 60o 30o 0o o o Afr ica 30o 60o 0 np late Name: 45 o o 90 E o 90 o IndianAustralian plate F Arabian plate Eurasian plate 45 Student Number: 135o 135o 180 o 135o J H G Antarctic plate 135o 90 o 90 o Nazca plate D North American plate I Juan de Fuca plate o Philippine plate Cocos plate Pacific plate 180 45 o A Caribean plate C B South American plate o Scotia plate 45 0 o o 0
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