Plate Tectonics

Plate Tectonics Model Project due Day 15




1 Welcome back and Intro
2 Continental Drift
3 Sea Floor Spreading
4 Plate Tectonics
5 Plate Boundary Types
6 Evidence for Plate Movement
7 Plate Tectonics on other Planets

Textbook support:

  • Chapter 2 in Physical Geology and The environment
  • Chapter 9/ Chapter 10  in Physical Geology online text

The objectives of this unit are to:
• Diagram or model the interior of the Earth, labeling all principal parts and showing the approximate thickness of each layer
• Describe the characteristics of the various layers of the Earth
• Describe the temperature variations within Earth and their implications for internal processes such as mantle convection
• Explain the origins of Earth’s magnetic field and the timing of magnetic field reversals
• Discuss some of the early evidence for continental drift and Alfred Wegener’s role in promoting this theory
• Explain some of the other models that were used early in the 20th century to understand global geological features
• Describe the numerous geological advances made in the middle part of the 20th century that provided the basis for understanding the mechanisms of plate tectonics and the evidence that plates have moved and lithosphere is created and destroyed
• List the seven major plates, their extents, and their direction of motion, and identify the types of boundaries (convergent, divergent, or transform) between them
• Describe the geological processes that take place at divergent and convergent plate boundaries, and explain why transform faults exist
• Explain how supercontinents form and how they break apart
• Describe the mechanisms for plate movement i.e. mantle convection, lithospheric slab push, and lithospheric slab pull
• Describe the isostatic relationship between the crust and the mantle, and the implications of that relationship for geological processes on Earth i.e.  volcanism, mountain building, erosion, and glaciation