Plate Tectonics

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  • A geological theory formulated in the 1960s, which posits that the earth's crust is composed of large irregularly shaped plates that move slowly past one another to produce changes in the earth's surface. The plates, which are approximately 100 kilometers in thickness, move only between about 1 to 12 centimeters per year. The plates are divided into smaller and larger plates, with approximately 14 main plates currently known. Most notably, plate tectonics is responsible for the formation and separation of large land masses, in particular the continents of the earth. Some of the main plates can be found in North America, South America, and the Pacific.

    The theory of plate tectonics also explains the production of other major land formations, including mountains and volcanoes. In addition, ...

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