Tetonic Plates

by RainforestGirl
Last updated 9 years ago

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Tetonic Plates

The Earth is made up of four layers, and on the layer we live on, the crust, is broken up into big slabs of rock called tetonic plates.

Tetonic plates are always moving because of things called convection currents below the crust. When two plates collide, they cause mountains, when they move apart they create rift valleys.

Pangaea is the giant supercontinent that existed on the Earth 150 million years ago. As the tetonic plates moved apart, we got today's continents.

Tetonic plates move about 1 inch or 2 centimeters every year.

If the Earth was an egg, the crust would be the shell,and tetonic plates would be cracks in the shell.

Tetonic plates move because of convection currents. So what's a convection current? In the mantle (hot, soft rock below the crust) hot rock near the outer core (hot liquid metals surrounding the inner core, which is solid metal) gets too hot and rises. When it reaches the crust, it cools, hardens, and sinks again, causing the cycle to repeat. These move in different directions, causing the tetonic plates to move.


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