What is continental drift and plate tectonics

The main difference between plate tectonics and continental drift is that plate tectonics describes the features and movement of Earth’s surface in the present and in the past whereas continental drift describes the drifting of Earth’s continents on the ocean bed.

What is continental in plate tectonics?

A tectonic plate (also called lithospheric plate) is a massive, irregularly shaped slab of solid rock, generally composed of both continental and oceanic lithosphere. … Continental crust is composed of granitic rocks which are made up of relatively lightweight minerals such as quartz and feldspar.

How is a continental plate formed?

Today, continental crust is formed mainly along subduction zones, where partial melting of descending slabs forms granitic and andesitic magmas at volcanoes on the overriding plate. This process produces thicker — up to 70 kilometers thick — and more buoyant crust that is not as easily subducted.

How do you explain continental drift?

Continental drift is the hypothesis that the Earth’s continents have moved over geologic time relative to each other, thus appearing to have “drifted” across the ocean bed. The speculation that continents might have ‘drifted’ was first put forward by Abraham Ortelius in 1596.

How are continental drift and plate tectonics related quizlet?

Continental drift believes that the continents moved because the magnetism of the sea floor. Plate tectonics believes that the lithosphere & the asthenosphere of the continents caused them to move.

What is true of tectonic plates?

Plate tectonics is the theory that Earth’s outer shell is divided into large slabs of solid rock, called “plates,” that glide over Earth’s mantle, the rocky inner layer above Earth’s core. … Below the lithosphere is the asthenosphere — a viscous layer kept malleable by heat deep within the Earth.

Why do tectonic plates move?

The plates can be thought of like pieces of a cracked shell that rest on the hot, molten rock of Earth’s mantle and fit snugly against one another. The heat from radioactive processes within the planet’s interior causes the plates to move, sometimes toward and sometimes away from each other.

What type of plate is plate A?

This activity shows the different geological features formed in convergent boundary particularly in converging continental plate and oceanic plate. The activity presented a picture in which plate A subducted beneath plate B. Plate A is an oceanic plate which is denser than plate B which is a continental plate.

What are examples of continental drift?

The Appalachians of the eastern United States and Canada, for example, are just like mountain ranges in eastern Greenland, Ireland, Great Britain, and Norway. Wegener concluded that they formed as a single mountain range that was separated as the continents drifted.

What is the difference between continental and oceanic plates?

Oceanic plates are much thinner than the continental plates. … At the convergent boundaries the continental plates are pushed upward and gain thickness. The rocks and geological layers are much older on continental plates than in the oceanic plates. The Continental plates are much less dense than the Oceanic plates.

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How is continental drift and plate tectonics the same?

Plate tectonics is the theory that Earth’s land masses are in constant motion. The realization that Earth’s land masses move was first proposed by Alfred Wegener, which he called continental drift. … But the continents actually are shifting, very slowly, relative to one another.

What is continental drift quizlet?

The hypothesis that states that the continents once formed a single landmass, broke up, and drifted to their present locations. …

What is the continental drift theory quizlet?

What is the theory of continental drift? Hypothesis that states that continents once formed a single land mass and broke apart and drifted to their current location.

How many continental plates are there?

There are seven major plates: African, Antarctic, Eurasian, Indo-Australian, North American, Pacific and South American. The Hawaiian Islands were created by the Pacific Plate, which is the world’s largest plate at 39,768,522 square miles.

Where do plates meet?

The place where tectonic plates meet is called a boundary.

What are 3 types of plate boundaries?

  • Divergent boundaries — where new crust is generated as the plates pull away from each other.
  • Convergent boundaries — where crust is destroyed as one plate dives under another.
  • Transform boundaries — where crust is neither produced nor destroyed as the plates slide horizontally past each other.

What is a continental crust?

continental crust, the outermost layer of Earth’s lithosphere that makes up the planet’s continents and continental shelves and is formed near subduction zones at plate boundaries between continental and oceanic tectonic plates. The continental crust forms nearly all of Earth’s land surface.

What are the 4 types of plate tectonics?

There are four types of boundaries between tectonic plates that are defined by the movement of the plates: divergent and convergent boundaries, transform fault boundaries, and plate boundary zones.

Why does Earth have plate tectonics and continents?

Earth mantle heated and cooled over many millennia, resulting in the broken outer crust and commencing the plate motion that is continuous still today. That huge continent eventually broke apart, creating new and ever-changing land masses and oceans.

What are the 3 types of continental drift?

There are three kinds of plate tectonic boundaries: divergent, convergent, and transform plate boundaries.

What are the 5 evidences of continental drift?

They based their idea of continental drift on several lines of evidence: fit of the continents, paleoclimate indicators, truncated geologic features, and fossils.

Is convergent boundary?

A convergent boundary (also known as a destructive boundary) is an area on Earth where two or more lithospheric plates collide. … Convergent boundaries occur between oceanic-oceanic lithosphere, oceanic-continental lithosphere, and continental-continental lithosphere.

What is formed on top of the continental plate?

The top layer of the Earth’s surface is called the crust (it lies on top of the plates). Oceanic crust (the thin crust under the oceans) is thinner and denser than continental crust. Crust is constantly being created and destroyed; oceanic crust is more active than continental crust.

Which is not a primary tectonic plate?

The correct answer is the Saudi Arabian plate. The Earth’s lithosphere is divided into seven major and some minor plates.

What happens when two continental plates converge?

What happens when two continental plates collide? … Instead, a collision between two continental plates crunches and folds the rock at the boundary, lifting it up and leading to the formation of mountains and mountain ranges.

What are continental plates made of?

Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth’s crust and uppermost mantle, together referred to as the lithosphere. The plates are around 100 km (62 mi) thick and consist of two principal types of material: oceanic crust (also called sima from silicon and magnesium) and continental crust (sial from silicon and aluminium).

What is the difference between continental drift theory and seafloor spreading?

Seafloor spreading disproves an early part of the theory of continental drift. Supporters of continental drift originally theorized that the continents moved (drifted) through unmoving oceans. Seafloor spreading proves that the ocean itself is a site of tectonic activity.

What are three differences between continental and oceanic crust?

Continental crust is low in density whereas oceanic crust has a higher density. Continental crust is thicker, on the contrary, the oceanic crust is thinner. Continental crust floats on magma freely but oceanic crust floats on magma scarcely. Continental crust cannot recycle whereas oceanic crust can recycle it.

What is the difference between plate tectonics and plate boundaries?

The difference between plate tectonics and plate boundaries is that one is a scientific theory while the other is a physical property of tectonic

What is the idea of Pangea?

German meteorologist Alfred Wegener first presented the concept of Pangea (meaning “all lands”) along with the first comprehensive theory of continental drift, the idea that Earth’s continents slowly move relative to one another, at a conference in 1912 and later in his book The Origin of Continents and Oceans (1915).

What is continental drift caused by?

The causes of continental drift are perfectly explained by the plate tectonic theory. The earth’s outer shell is composed of plates that move a little bit every year. Heat coming from the interior of the earth triggers this movement to occur through convection currents inside the mantle.